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Walmart patents smart cart that can track shoppers' heart rate, temperature

Walmart Inc. filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a shopping cart that uses biometric data to track a customer's heart rate and temperature, among others.

The technology aims to alert store staff about customers that may need assistance based on the biometric data received through the cart.

The smart cart involves sensors and a server that will be able to gather real-time biometric data generated from a shopping cart handle. The biometric data gathered, including heart rate, temperature, handle grip and cart speed, will determine whether a customer needs assistance.

In its application, Walmart said the smart shopping cart will automatically turn on as soon as a shopper picks it up.

The technology is the latest addition to the retailer's patent applications in 2018. Earlier this year, Walmart filed patent applications for a virtual showroom, a virtual reality-based fulfillment system and a range of technologies for automated farming.

Last year, it also filed an application for a smart shopping cart that will be able to help customers find products in aisles, in addition to another application for unmanned aerial devices, or drones, that can assist shoppers and respond to help requests.