Many people find that getting groceries delivered to their residences is often more convenient than traveling to the stores and battling other shoppers, but it does mean having to be home when they arrive. Walmart could potentially solve this problem with a new service that not only brings food into your home when it’s empty but also places the groceries inside your fridge or freezer.
The retail giant’s trial program will see it partner with delivery service Deliv and August Home, maker of IoT devices such as smart locks and security cameras. The idea is for a Deliv worker to enter a person’s home using a pre-authorized, one-time passcode that opens the August door lock. Once inside, they put the delivery into the customer’s fridge/freezer (if required) ready for when they return.
This naturally raises concerns about what a stranger might get up to when alone in one’s home, but by using August’s cameras, it’s possible to monitor the entire process from start to finish on your mobile device. Users receive a phone notification when the passcode is entered, and have the option to watch the delivery person as they unload the groceries.
"Think about that—someone else does the shopping for you AND puts it all away," Walmart VP Sloan Eddleston wrote in a blog post. "This may not be for everyone–and certainly not right away–but we want to offer customers the opportunity to participate in tests."
The tests are scheduled to begin for a limited number of residents within the Silicon Valley area. Should they prove successful, it’s possible that Walmart will ask other IoT companies to come onboard.