business news in context, analysis with attitude

Media Post reports that Walmart “has filed a patent for drones to aid shoppers in stores,” allowing consumers to “use a mobile phone or a device provided by the store to summon a drone, which the consumer could then direct to do a price verification of a product or have the drone provide navigation assistance … The drone also could provide a visual projection to indicate a path or audio output from the drone to guide the shopper to a product.”

The story notes that this is part of a broader effort by Walmart to take advantage of technology in its stores, such as the shelf-scanning robots that it is testing in 50 stores as way of confirming inventory levels. Media Post also notes that “while some of the ideas in various patents may never come to fruition, they do provide some of the perception of the future that some retailers think may be ahead.”
KC's View:
This sounds like it could be an over-engineered answer to a set of consumer problems, but it also could be very effective.