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Walmart file patent for smart camera

Walmart have filed a patent to create a camera that can tell if a customer is unhappy.

The multinational corporation want to develop a camera that uses facial recognition software to detect if someone is having a bad experience so it can be rectified before the customer leaves the shop.

They wrote in their patent application: "It is much easier for a merchant to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new customer through advertising. However, it can also be very expensive to maintain sufficient staff to provide great customer service. It can also be difficult to establish an appropriate staffing level that will provide proper customer service without excess staffing.

"Often, if customer service is inadequate, this fact will not appear in data available to management until many customers have been lost. With so much competition, a customer will often simply go elsewhere rather than take the time to make a complaint. The systems and methods disclosed herein provide an improved approach for characterising customer dissatisfaction and adjusting staffing levels appropriately."

The camera would be placed at a till so the corporation could immediately react to negative customer experience by sending someone to help or opening up another till to be able to serve customers quicker.

They added: "Systems and methods are disclosed herein for improving customer service. A video feed of a camera viewing a POS queue is analyzed to identify customers and measure customer biometric data. The biometric data is analyzed and used to generate customer service actions such as alerting a representative or calling in additional staff if the data indicates customer dissatisfaction.

"The biometric data of a customer may be correlated to transaction data of the customer in order to detect changes of the purchase habits of the customer due to dissatisfaction. Changes in purchase habits, such as a loss of a customer, may be used in combination with the biometric data to establish thresholds of biometric data used to generate customer service actions."

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