During the past few months, you've probably picked up a few new shopping habits. You may have also developed new habits for curbside pickups or even delivery services.
Retail giant Walmart is now one-uping the idea of grocery delivery, which includes a new appliance for your porch. (An appliance with lots of smart technology and insulation included, so likely some plastics companies are involved, too.)
A pilot program in Walmart's hometown of Bentonville, Ark., working with partner HomeValet, places a new smart box at participating homes. The box connects to your home power grid and is enabled with the Internet of Things. Order your groceries and the delivery person both collects the items and then brings them to your home. A code allows them to access the Smart Box.
The box includes a built-in freezer and refrigerator, so once the groceries are put into the proper spots, it's closed again to remain secure until you're home or finish up that work Zoom conference call.
"If there's one thing we know about our customers, it's that they're busier than ever," Tom Ward, a senior vice president with Walmart, said in a blog post. "Our pilot with HomeValet is one of many solutions we're testing that can make their days more manageable. After all, delivery should fit within their lifestyle, not the other way around."