Do you think order-ahead grocery pickup and at-home delivery somehow aren’t convenient enough? Have you ever wandered into a Walmart and thought, “Gee, this is great, but I really wish someone who works for this company could go through my refrigerator”?
If you answered an enthusiastic YES to both of those questions, you’re one of the roughly three people who will be thrilled to learn about InHome, a new service from Walmart. In essence, it’s exactly what it says it is: after placing an order online, a “trained and vetted Walmart associate” shops for your groceries and deposits them at your home.
But they aren’t leaving those groceries on your doorstep. According to a press release, they’ll “use smart entry technology and a proprietary, wearable camera to access the customer’s home," going so far as to stock and organize your refrigerator on your behalf. In addition to controlling access, customers can watch a feed of the delivery through their phones, allowing them to experience the thrill of watching someone judge the contents of their fridge in real time.
If the idea of letting a random Walmart employee into your home doesn’t sit well with you, it’s worth noting that the deliverers will undergo a “extensive training program which prepares them to enter customers’ homes with the same care and respect with which they would treat a friend's or family’s home.” Whether or not that means they’ll be forced to take off their shoes and/or compliment your “live, laugh, love” wall art remains to be seen.
As one would hope with a tech-enabled service that verges on Black Mirror territory, Walmart will start with a testing phase this fall in Kansas City, Pittsburgh (which seems to be saddled with so many of these bizarre tech experiments these days), and Vero Beach, Florida. Who knows what Walmart will learn from that testing, but it’s probably not a great sign when one of the frequently asked questions they felt the need to address is “how does this service make my life better?” For now, I’ll stick to stocking my own dang fridge.
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