Internet of Things

Walmart Patenting Amazon Dash Competitor

Walmart has filed a patent application (as late as October 2016) that would create an IoT platform that would help track product use in shoppers’ homes, CB Insights reported.

The research firm said the platform, which would place replenishment orders as products would need to be replaced, is “reminiscent of Amazon Dash” and the eCommerce giant’s buttons that serve similar functions.

The move said the site, which has examined more than 800 patents made by Walmart over a few years, noted that this is the first that goes deep into a consumer’s home rather than be confined to the in-store or online experience.

In addition, other patents have focused on RFID, and this one, instead, has the IoT in its sights. The patent mentions NFC, infrared and other technologies. The system would also, as CB Insights stated, require comparatively less effort than does Amazon’s. The Dash buttons as they exist currently are physical buttons that need to be pushed; conversely, Walmart’s system would not need user interaction.

One benefit, noted CB Insights, is that the IoT setup could bring consumer data to Walmart that tracks how often products are used and replaced, and would help boost cross-selling efforts, especially within the grocery business.

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