Wal-Mart Patents

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is a global retailer focused on selling merchandise and services at everyday low prices. The company operates stores under the Walmart and Sam's Clubs brands.

Wal-Mart Patents by Type

  • Wal-Mart Patents Granted: Wal-Mart patents that have been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
  • Wal-Mart Patent Applications: Wal-Mart patent applications that are pending before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
  • Patent number: 9896207
    Abstract: In some embodiments, provide systems, apparatuses and methods to deliver products using unmanned delivery aircraft. In some embodiments, product delivery system is provided, comprising: an unmanned delivery aircraft configured to deliver a package to a package drop point corresponding to a location of a vehicle at a predefined drive-through station, wherein the delivery aircraft comprises: one or more cameras; an image processor configured to process images captured by the one or more cameras and based on the processing of the images confirm a precise location of the package drop point as defined according to a determined current location and an orientation of the vehicle; and a crane system that supports the first package and lowers the first package to the package drop point relative to the current location and orientation of the vehicle while the delivery aircraft hovers above the vehicle by a threshold distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Chandrashekar Natarajan, Donald R. High
  • Patent number: 9898749
    Abstract: A computer-implemented method is disclosed herein. The method includes the step of positioning at least one location marker at a position in a retail store. The method also includes the step of receiving, with a processing device of a position detection server, a video signal from an electronic device possessed by a consumer as the consumer shops in the retail store. At least one image frame of the video signal contains the at least one location marker. The method also includes the step of determining, with the processing device, a location of the consumer within the retail store in response to the receiving step.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Stuart Argue, Anthony Emile Marcar
  • Patent number: 9900777
    Abstract: Provided are a system and method for operating a mobile device, comprising: establishing by a locking mechanism at the mobile device that the mobile device is owned or controlled by a retail establishment at which an operator of the mobile device is an agent; searching, by a mobile device, for a signal from a network; authorizing the mobile device to operate in a vicinity of the network when the signal is detected from the network; and inactivating the mobile device or displaying information where the mobile device can operate in response to a failure by the mobile device to detect the signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Matthew Allen Jones, Daniel R. Shields, Marc Ashley Fletter, Nicholaus Adam Jones, Robert James Taylor
  • Patent number: 9898746
    Abstract: A method for comparison of product information based on product codes to determine the cost per unit weight per product and hereby determine the cheapest product per unit weight is disclosed herein. The method further comprises of displaying the location information of the cheapest product within the retail store and providing navigational information for enabling the consumer to access the product easily.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Stuart Argue, Anthony Emile Marcar
  • Patent number: 9896315
    Abstract: Some embodiments include apparatuses to fulfill customer orders comprising a motorized transport unit; a product pick unit (PPU) that cooperate with the motorized transport unit; a wireless communication network; and a central computer system configured to communicate with the multiple motorized transport units and the plurality of product pick units, and comprises a control circuit and memory storing instructions executed to cause the control circuit to: communicate an instruction to the motorized transport unit and direct the motorized transport unit to transport the product pick unit to a determined first location within the shopping facility proximate to where a first product having been ordered is located; and communicate an instruction to the product pick unit cooperated with the motorized transport unit and direct the product pick unit to retrieve the first product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Shuvro Chakrobartty, David C. Winkle, Robert C. Taylor
  • Publication number: 20180046973
    Abstract: Described in detail herein are methods and systems for detecting missing or miss positioned labels. The system can include a portable scanning device to scan machine-readable elements included on labels at a first and second location. The portable scanning device can detect the acceleration and the cumulative change between the first and second location. The portable scanning device or a computing system can determine the distance between the first and second location based on the acceleration data. The computing system can place a data point on a map of an estimated location of the location of the first scan and the location of the second scan.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 14, 2017
    Publication date: February 15, 2018
    Applicants: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Nicholaus Adam Jones, Matthew Allen Jones
  • Patent number: 9894210
    Abstract: Provided herein are methodologies, systems, apparatus, and non-transitory computer-readable media for providing an adjustable dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) phone system. The DTMF phone system includes a DTMF adjustment module that interfaces with a base DTMF phone system and retrieves call parameter values from at least one properties file. The call parameter value is indicative of an audio file to be played by the DTMF phone system, or a DTMF call flow option file. The DTMF adjustment module provides the call parameter values to the base DTMF phone system. The base DTMF phone system includes a number of variables, and a DTMF call flow is generated by assigning at least one of the call parameter values to one or more of the variables within the base DTMF phone system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventor: Jose Casasola
  • Patent number: 9892358
    Abstract: A presently-powered RFID tag can itself determine its own relative movement with respect to a reader. This RFID tag can responsively alter its read state to thereby permit the RFID tag to respond to a subsequent read inquiry. By one approach the RFID tag assesses its own movement by monitoring the strength of its received power. By another approach, the RFID tag has a power source that becomes electrically charged via radio-frequency energy received by the tag antenna and that power source is configured to become operably discharged at a point in time that corresponds to a typical null-sensing duration of time for a given application setting for that RFID tag.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventor: Bruce W. Wilkinson
  • Patent number: 9886424
    Abstract: The present disclosure extends to methods, systems, and computer program products for a web application framework for extracting content. In some embodiments, a computer-implemented method of dynamically extracting context associated with a web request comprises, at a context analyzer layer, receiving a web request context, wherein the web request context comprises a coded expression. Some embodiments further comprise, at the context analyzer layer, invoking the context key of the context analyzer name class, determining that the context analyzer name class is not identified or if the value of the context key is not specified, and throwing an invalid configuration exception. Other embodiments of related methods and systems are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2018
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Bhupesh Tuteja, Abhay Maruti Kamble, Amit Khanchi
  • Patent number: 9888009
    Abstract: Exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure are directed to performing an operation in a computing environment that is prohibited by a security application governing the computing environment. Exemplary embodiments can generate a security bypass environment in a computing environment governed by the security application to provide a bypass to the security application. In exemplary embodiments, a request to perform the operation can be received via the security bypass environment and the operation can be performed through the security bypass environment in response to satisfaction of access control criteria specified for the security bypass environment so that the performance of the operation bypasses the security application.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2018
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventor: Walter N. Scaife
  • Patent number: 9888390
    Abstract: Disclosed is a system for collecting data and mapping wireless network coverage in a building such as a retail store. A mobile computing device is used by an employee to collect data captures and wireless coverage indicators in the retail store. The wireless coverage indicator includes data on the status of wireless network coverage in the location where the data capture was collected. The data capture and the wireless coverage indicators are wirelessly transmitted to a utility for mapping a building when a wireless network is available. If no wireless network is available, the data is stored in the mobile computing device until a wireless network is available. The utility for mapping a building uses information in the data capture to determine the location where the data capture was collected, and maps the data in the wireless coverage indicator to the location on a map of the building.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2018
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Nicholaus Adam Jones, Matthew Allen Jones, Robert James Taylor, Daniel R. Shields, Marc Ashley Fletter
  • Patent number: 9877601
    Abstract: Described is a device for holding portable computing devices at a register of a retail store. The device for holding portable computing devices includes an elongate member with a first end and a second end. The first end has a coupler that couples to a pole. The second end is coupled to a register. In some embodiments, the elongate member includes a rod portion and a flat bar portion. The coupler couples the rod portion to the pole. The flat bar portion is coupled to the register. The rod portion is sized to conveniently receive portable computing device couplers so that the portable computing devices can be repeatably and removeably hung from the rod portion. Customers who have used the store's scanners while shopping can hang their borrowed scanner on the device when they are done using the scanner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2018
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Yurgis Mauro Bacallao, Stephen Tyler Caution
  • Patent number: 9881098
    Abstract: A method including receiving on a server a request from a first provider to retrieve a configuration for a lookup order. The method also can include determining the configuration for the lookup order using the server based at least in part on whether the call to the first provider by the application is through the direct dependency relationship or through the transitive dependency relationship. The method further can include providing the configuration for the lookup order to the first provider. The method additionally can include receiving first information at the application that is based at least in part on the configuration for the lookup order. The method further can include providing second information for at least a portion of a web page that is based at least in part on the first information. Other embodiments are provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2018
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Prashant Dighe, Bhanu Cherukumille, Niraj K. Agarwal, Brian M. Johnson, Soumen Sarkar
  • Patent number: 9881328
    Abstract: A system and method for forecasting sales is presented. A transmission by a customer is received indicating an intention for a customer to purchase an item from a retailer via a mobile device. An embodiment determines if the item is subject to an age-restriction. This can be accomplished by using location data of a retailer. Biometric data is received from the customer intending to purchase the item. The biometric data is compared to verified biometric data to confirm the identity of the customer. The age of the customer is determined. Thereafter, the transaction is allowed to proceed if the age of the customer satisfies the age-restriction for the item. Other embodiments are also disclosed herein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2018
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Berk Atikoglu, Eytan Daniyalzade
  • Publication number: 20180024907
    Abstract: A technique for generating terminal resource recommendations is discussed. Terminal activity status data is retrieved from a number of sensors in order to generate and render terminal resource recommendations. The activity status data is used to calculate a current active terminal recommendation indicative of the number of terminals needed to currently satisfy a particular service metric. A predicted active terminal recommendation indicative of the number of terminals needed at a specified future time period in order to satisfy a particular service metric at the specified future time period may also be generated.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 19, 2017
    Publication date: January 25, 2018
    Applicant: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen Tyler Caution, Tricia Mcpherson Hicks, Lori Lee Wise, Douglas Jahe Ryner, Joshua David Osmon, Jaclyn Moreda
  • Patent number: 9875502
    Abstract: A central computer system is configured to simultaneously task various ones of a plurality of motorized transport units to temporarily attach to a corresponding mobile item container and to move the temporarily-attached mobile item container in a retail shopping facility in correspondence to the movement of an authorized consumer while also receiving and analyzing video input provided by video cameras that are included with at least some of the motorized transport units to identify security and safety anomalies in the retail shopping facility. By one approach, the central computer system identifies security and safety anomalies in the retail shopping center by characterizing contents of images as being either expected or unexpected and as being either potentially harmful or not potentially harmful. So configured the central computer system is able to not only identify anomalies but assess a degree of threat posed by a given anomaly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2018
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Karl Kay, Donald R. High, Michael D. Atchley
  • Patent number: 9875483
    Abstract: In accordance with some implementations, a method for responding to requests submitted through a conversational interface is disclosed. The method is performed on a server system having one or more processors and memory storing one or more programs for execution by the one or more processors. The server system receives a request from a user through a conversational interface. The server system determines, based on the request, whether the system is able to fulfill the request automatically. In accordance with a determination that the system is able to fulfill the request automatically, the server system fulfills the user request with no human interaction. In accordance with a determination that the system is not able to fulfill the request without human intervention, the server system sends the request to a human operator for fulfillment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2018
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Nathan Stoll, Jan Magnus Stensmo, Stuart Robinson
  • Patent number: 9875503
    Abstract: A housing contains a plurality of motorized transport units in a stacked relationship to one another, with a bottom-most one of the plurality of motorized transport units serving as a locomotion mechanism that selectively causes movement of the housing with the plurality of motorized transport units contained therein. By one approach the aforementioned housing has a cylindrical form factor and includes a cylindrically-shaped chamber configured to receive the motorized transport units, By one approach, for example, this housing includes no lifting mechanism to lift any of the motorized transport units into itself and further has no integral locomotion mechanism by which the housing can move itself. The interior of the housing can include at least one track formed therein to receive a corresponding part of each of the plurality of motorized transport units which the motorized transport units can engage to thereby lift themselves into the interior of the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2018
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Michael D. Atchley, David C. Winkle
  • Patent number: 9875096
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and non-transitory machine readable medium are provided for creating a structured report that aggregates information related to a plurality of source code files based on selective scanning of one or more repositories. A repository search request is received including a repository identifier, a project identifier, and a search term. The specified repository is scanned to identify source code files for the specified project that include the search term. It is determined whether an instance of a search term within the source code file corresponds to a reserved term. A report is generated identifying the source code files that include an instance of the search term. A new file directory is created, and populated with a first results file including the generated report.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2018
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventor: Kevin E. Hill
  • Patent number: 9865148
    Abstract: Provided are a shopping party locator system and method. The system and method includes creating a shopping party for a group of customers entering a store, wherein creating the shopping party includes operating a shopping party application on a store computing system to take and store a photo of the group of customers and create a label for each member of the group of customers. The label of a member of the group of customers separated from the shopping party may be scanned by a scanning device. The label of any member of the shopping party may be scanned if a member is discovered missing. The system automatically notifies a designated caretaker and notifies all associates and customers in the store that the member is separated in order to find the separated person. Once found, the separated member's label may be scanned the identity verified.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Ruth A. Boyd, Meriah D. Montondo, Kellie D. Embree
  • Patent number: 9858547
    Abstract: In some embodiments, methods and systems of sorting products at a retail sales facility include receiving identifying information associated with a product at the retail sales facility using an inventory management electronic device, obtaining a demand for the product from a time products identical to the product were delivered to the retail sales facility, calculating whether the demand for the product supports moving the product onto a sales floor of the retail sales facility or storing the product in a stock room of the retail sales facility, determining a characteristic for the product, and outputting, when the demand supports storing the product in the stock room, an indication to a worker at the retail sales facility that the product is to be stored in the stock room at a location selected based on the determined characteristic for the product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2018
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Matthew A. Jones, Nicholaus A. Jones, Robert J. Taylor, Marc A. Fletter, Daniel R. Shields
  • Patent number: 9858610
    Abstract: Example systems and methods for recommendation based on geographic location and user activities are described. In one implementation, a method may receive geographic information associated with a user. The method may also retrieve a circumstance parameter associated with the geographic information and identify one or more items based on the graphic information and the circumstance parameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2018
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventor: Valerie Goulart
  • Patent number: 9858738
    Abstract: A delivered-package vault has a selectively-lockable access portal that is configured to contain at least one package, which package has at least one recipient-specific requirement associated therewith. The delivered-package vault also includes a two-way communications interface configured to communicate with a remote source having that at least one recipient-specific requirement and further includes a control circuit that operably couples to the two-way communications interface and the selectively-lockable access portal. The control circuit is configured to communicate with the remote source regarding the at least one recipient-specific requirement for the at least one package that is presently in the delivered-package vault and to unlock the selectively-lockable access portal to thereby provide access to the at least one package by a recipient who meets the at least one recipient-specific requirement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2018
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventor: Bruce W. Wilkinson
  • Patent number: 9852396
    Abstract: In some embodiments, methods and systems of locating overstock items at a retail sales facility include receiving data when a worker of the retail sales facility scans a product case containing a product using an inventory management electronic device including a processor; obtaining at least one inventory management factor associated with the product; estimating whether the product is to be picked by the worker from a storage bin at a stock room location while packed in the product case or after being removed from the product case; and outputting, based on the estimating step, an indication to the worker either that the product is to be picked from the storage bin without being removed from the product case, or that that the product is to be picked from the storage bin after being removed from the product case.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2017
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Matthew A. Jones, Nicholaus A. Jones, Robert J. Taylor, Marc A. Fletter, Daniel R. Shields
  • Patent number: 9844283
    Abstract: Disclosed is a bagging station support frame that includes a bagging station holder and a rail coupler coupled to the bagging station holder. The bagging station holder holds a bagging station. A bagging station holds a plurality of shopping bags ready to receive products purchased by a customer. The rail coupler couples the bagging station support frame to a rail. Rails are common fixtures throughout retail stores. The bagging station support frame can be coupled to a rail at various locations throughout the retail store. A bagging station coupled to the bagging station support frame will be available for customers to bag their purchases wherever the bagging station support frame with bagging station is mounted. By mounting bagging station support frames with bagging stations throughout the retail store, customers can easily bag their purchases as they shop, without having to find a checkout counter to obtain shopping bags.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventor: Yurgis Mauro Bacallao
  • Patent number: 9843643
    Abstract: A system for monitoring consumer activity on a website is described herein. The system includes a memory device and an activity sessionization server. The memory device is configured to store a webpage list including a plurality of webpage records and an activity session list including a plurality of activity session records. Each of the activity session records including a webpage URL and a session ID. The activity sessionization server retrieves a webpage record from the webpage list, determines if the retrieved webpage record includes a referral URL, identifies a matching activity session record that includes a corresponding webpage URL that matches the referral URL of the retrieved webpage record, determines a corresponding session ID associated with the matching activity session record, and associates the corresponding session ID with the current activity session record.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Venkata Swamy Martha, Abhishek Gattani
  • Patent number: 9842333
    Abstract: The present invention extends to methods, systems, and computer program products for transferring digital receipt data to mobile devices. A point-of-sale (“POS”) system generates digital receipt data as part of a sales transaction. The point-of-sale (“POS”) system and a mobile device, possibly also along with a receipt data server, interoperate with one another to transfer digital receipt data generated to the mobile device. In some embodiments, the point-of-sale (“POS”) system transfers digital receipt data for a sales transaction to the receipt data server. An identifier, such as, for example, an application identifier or transaction identifier, is stored along with the digital receipt data to match the digital receipt data with the mobile device. The mobile device subsequently uses the identifier to access the digital receipt data from the receipt data server. In other embodiments, the point-of-sale (“POS”) system transfers digital receipt data directly to the mobile device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Stuart Argue, Anthony Emile Marcar
  • Patent number: 9842306
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses are provided using RFID devices to assist in determining a likelihood that the performance of a task has been completed. In one implementation, an apparatus comprises a radio frequency identification (RFID) reader and a control circuit operably coupled to the RFID reader. The control circuit is configured to: detect, using at least information received via the RFID reader regarding a reading of one or more RFID tags by the RFID reader, one or more circumstances that evidence a status of interest pertaining to performance of a task of interest; and make a determination that the performance of the task of interest has likely been completed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2017
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Nicholaus A. Jones, Abu Rasel, Bruce W. Wilkinson
  • Patent number: 9836734
    Abstract: Systems and methods are disclosed herein for providing an electronic receipt for a vending machine transaction. Upon conclusion of a vending machine transaction a screen on the vending machine displays an optically encoded electronic receipt. The optically encoded electronic receipt may encode a transaction identifier and may additionally encode details of the transaction. The vending machine may also transmit transaction data to a server. A user computing device may scan the optically encoded electronic receipt and retrieve a transaction identifier. Using the transaction identifier, the user computing device may request transaction data from the server either directly or by way of a server owned or controlled by a different entity. Additional content, such as advertisements may be transmitted with or for display with transaction data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Stuart Argue, Anthony Emile Marcar
  • Patent number: 9836719
    Abstract: In some embodiments, methods and systems of managing products at a retail sales facility include scanning a product in a stocking cart at the retail sales facility using a hand-held electronic device including a processor. At least two of the following three functions may be performed based on the scanning of the product. First, the stocking cart may be audited by comparing scanned data to data contained in an inventory management database. Second, a determination of whether the item is on a pick list may be made, which may include determining a demand for the scanned product to arrive at a decision whether to store the product in the stock room or place it on a shelf on the sales floor. Third, if the item is to be stored in the stock room, a determination of whether identical items are stored in bins in the stock room may be made.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Nicholaus A. Jones, Marc A. Fletter, Matthew A. Jones, Daniel R. Shields, Robert J. Taylor
  • Publication number: 20170344584
    Abstract: Systems and methods can include one or more processing modules and one or more non-transitory storage modules storing computing instructions configured to run on the one or more processing modules and perform acts. The acts an include creating a bonded network interface on a host server, the where host server can include a plurality of internet protocol (IP) addresses. The acts also can include binding a first database instance container to a first IP address of the plurality of IP addresses of the host server such that a first database deployed inside the first database instance container has direct access to the host server. Systems and methods also can include deploying a first database instance container of a first cluster at a first host server and deploying a second database instance container of a second cluster at the first host server. Other embodiments also are disclosed herein.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 27, 2016
    Publication date: November 30, 2017
    Applicant: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Jayakrishnan Parappalliyalil, Kavindra Yerolkar, Aniruddha Mondal, Preetish Kumar Tripathi
  • Patent number: 9830573
    Abstract: A system is disclosed for providing retailer controllable access to consolidated inventory management services through a retail worker's personal smartphone. The system—operable largely within and through the retailer's private computing network—comprises data nodes, an enterprise service bus, and a device application. Inventory-related data is kept in the data nodes, with access thereto from suitably provisioned personal mobile devices moderated by the enterprise service bus pursuant to policies and parameters defined by the retailer. Provisioning the personal mobile device involves installation thereon of the device application. The device application launches a user interface for accessing the data nodes through the enterprise service bus, thus enabling the use on the worker's personal mobile device of retailer-specific, job-related inventory management tools.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Zulfiqar Ali Paracha, Aaron Santavicca, Josh Osmon, Doyle Reece, Kishore Kumar Konate, Vidanage Prabuddha Mangala Chandrasiri, Mahesh Sundar Thangaraj, Jie Ouyang, Kevin E. Hill, Michael Shawn McGuire
  • Patent number: 9830377
    Abstract: Techniques for comparing customer records to identify linked customer records are provided. The techniques may include a computer system identifying a target group of electronic customer records which have data pertaining to a customer, receiving a hierarchical blocker, and analyzing a customer record against the hierarchical blocker and extracting one or more data values from data fields identified by the hierarchical blocker. The computer system may create block keys from the extracted data values, associate the block keys with the customer record, create a block key group of customer records which are associated with a particular block key, and compare pairs of records from the block key group to identify records which are likely to be linked records because they pertain to a single customer entity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Andrew Benjamin Ray, Nathaniel Philip Troutman
  • Patent number: 9830584
    Abstract: The present disclosure extends to displaying a portion of an image representation of a paper receipt, the image portion corresponding to a selected item from a completed transaction. In embodiments, an “eReceipt,” a digital representation of a paper receipt, is transmitted to and displayed on a customer computing device, such as an app installed on a smartphone. The eReceipt may include a list of items purchased at the transaction and additional information related to the transaction and/or items purchased. In response to the customer selecting one of the items listed on the eReceipt, a snippet of the image of the paper receipt is displayed, the snippet depicting the line item from the paper receipt that represents the selected item.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Richard Neil Cancro, Douglas James Pedley, Joel Bennett Acker, Jr.
  • Patent number: 9824386
    Abstract: According to one aspect, embodiments of the invention provide a router having a first I/O terminal and a second I/O terminal, wherein the first I/O terminal is configured to be in communication with at least one client via a first network, wherein the second I/O terminal is configured to be in communication with a plurality of remote servers via a second network, and wherein the router is configured to receive, at the first I/O terminal via the first network, a web services request from the at least one client, identify, based on the web services request from the at least one client, a group of the plurality of remote servers that are capable of fulfilling the web services request, and transmit, in parallel via the second I/O terminal and the second network, the received web services request to each one of the plurality of remote servers within the group.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventor: John Randy Frerking
  • Patent number: 9824384
    Abstract: A current location of a portable computerized device can be determined within a retail store. A computer-implemented method to provide a directional aid for a consumer within the store includes receiving an item being sought within a retail store, monitoring, at the processing device, the current location of a portable computerized device, determining an in-store location of the item being sought; and displaying to the consumer a graphic describing a direction and a distance from the current location to the in-store location of the item being sought.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Stefan Li, Valerie Goulart
  • Patent number: 9824339
    Abstract: Techniques for related to retail transaction are disclosed. The techniques involve various uses allowing customers to pay for retail transaction using a mobile device, such as a cell phone. Payments for different goods or service in the transaction may be paid for using different methods of payments stored in a customer account.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Berk Atikoglu, Eytan Daniyalzade, David Martin Nelms
  • Publication number: 20170331956
    Abstract: Provided herein are methodologies, systems, apparatus, and non-transitory computer-readable media for providing an adjustable interactive voice response (IVR) system. User identification information is received in order to determine which portions of an IVR system the user can access. The user can then search the IVR system based on a search term corresponding to a verbal phrase recognizable in the IVR system. The user can enter the search term via a GUI displayed on an electronic device. A listing of audio files or options files corresponding to the verbal phrase is then transmitted to the electronic display device. A new verbal phrase to be recognized in the IVR system is then received from the user, and a system flow including at least one of the audio files or options files is modified to correspond to the new verbal phrase.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 31, 2017
    Publication date: November 16, 2017
    Applicant: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Jose Casasola, John Ragsdale
  • Publication number: 20170331955
    Abstract: Provided herein are methodologies, systems, apparatus, and non-transitory computer-readable media for providing an adjustable interactive voice response (IVR) system. User identification information is received in order to determine which portions of an IVR system the user can access. The user can then search the IVR system based on a search term corresponding to a verbal phrase recognizable in the IVR system. The user can enter the search term via a GUI displayed on an electronic device. A listing of audio files or options files corresponding to the verbal phrase is then transmitted to the electronic display device. A new verbal phrase to be recognized in the IVR system is then received from the user, and a system flow including at least one of the audio files or options files is modified to correspond to the new verbal phrase.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 31, 2017
    Publication date: November 16, 2017
    Applicant: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Jose Casasola, John Ragsdale
  • Patent number: 9818091
    Abstract: A method is disclosed for transferring receipt data to a computing device corresponding to a customer. The method may include initiating a transaction at a point-of-sale system. During the transaction, a computer system comprising the point-of-sale system, may collect receipt data documenting the transaction. The computer system may generate a barcode unique to the transaction and comprising encoded data. Once the transaction has been completed, the computer system may present the barcode to the customer. This may be done via a printed receipt, a customer-facing display, or the like. Using the encoded data, the computer system may deliver the receipt data to a computing device in the possession of the customer. For example, the encoded data may comprise the receipt data. Alternatively, the encoded data may comprise a URL directing the computing device to a resource system from which the receipt data may be downloaded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Stuart Argue, Anthony Emile Marcar
  • Patent number: 9820107
    Abstract: A communication system comprises a mobile reporting device and a server. The mobile reporting device comprises a signal receiver configured to receive data usable to determine the location of the reporting device; a communication module configured to transmit data to and receive data from a server, the data including location data from the location determiner; a display including a user interface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Brian Gerard McHale, Michael D. Atchley
  • Publication number: 20170316334
    Abstract: A system and method for predicting search term popularity is disclosed herein. A database system may comprise a first database cluster H and a second database cluster L. A machine learning algorithm is trained to create a predictive model. Thereafter, for each record in a database system, the predictive model is used to calculate a probability of the record being accessed. If the calculated probability of the record being accessed is greater than a threshold value, then the record in the first database cluster H; otherwise, the record is placed in the second database cluster L. Training the machine learning algorithm comprises inputting a training feature vector associated with the record into the machine learning algorithm, inputting a cost vector into the machine learning algorithm, and iteratively operating the machine learning algorithm on each record in the set of records to create a predictive model. Other embodiments are also disclosed herein.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 18, 2017
    Publication date: November 2, 2017
    Applicant: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Varun Srivastava, Yiye Ruan, Yan Zheng
  • Patent number: 9805409
    Abstract: Techniques for allowing a customer to order goods on-line or remotely and to pick-up the goods at a desired location or store are disclosed. The techniques include receiving a customer order. The customer order includes at least one good. The techniques further include populating a virtual basket with a preset list of goods as a function of reference time data and time data associated with the preset list of goods.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: David Jon Carr, Richard Mark Ramsden
  • Patent number: 9801517
    Abstract: Some embodiments provide apparatuses and methods useful to providing control over movement of motorized transport units. In some embodiments, an apparatus providing control over movement of motorized transport units at a shopping facility comprises: a central computer system comprising: a transceiver; a control circuit; a memory coupled to the control circuit and storing computer instructions that when executed by the control circuit cause the control circuit to perform the steps of: obtain, from one or more of the communications received from the motorized transport unit, route condition information comprising information corresponding to an intended route of travel; obtain additional route condition information detected by one or more detectors external to the motorized transport unit; detect an object affecting the intended route of travel; identify an action to be taken by the motorized transport unit with respect to the detected object; and communicate one or more instructions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Michael D. Atchley, Karl Kay, Robert C. Taylor, David C. Winkle
  • Patent number: 9799046
    Abstract: In accordance with some implementations, a method for enabling clickless purchasing is disclosed. The method is performed on a server system having one or more processors and memory storing one or more programs for execution by the one or more processors. The server system detects commercial intent from a user of the computer system. In response to detecting commercial intent, the server system determines a product relevant to the detected commercial intent of a user. The server system sends a recommendation message to the user, wherein the recommendation message includes an option to purchase the product. The server system then receives a response message from the user, the message including authorization from the user to purchase the recommended product. The server system then purchases the recommended product on behalf of the user and delivers the purchased product to the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Nathan Stoll, Andrew Ellerhorst
  • Patent number: 9797731
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided for consolidating and transforming object-descriptive input data to distributed rendered location data. The systems and methods are configured to receive object-descriptive input data from a plurality of input devices, consolidate the object-descriptive input data and correlate it with a plurality of physical objects, determine first and second subsets of the plurality of physical objects based on a proximity of each of the physical objects to each of a plurality of user devices, construct user device-specific graphical maps each indicating a route to each object in a subset, and instruct each user device to display a graphical map constructed therefor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Donald High, Michael Atchley, Eric Welch
  • Patent number: 9799173
    Abstract: A computer-implemented process is useful for inspecting a shopping cart in preparation for a rapid checkout from a retail store, the shopping cart including items scanned for purchase by the customer during a shopping trip in the retail store. The process includes monitoring, within a computerized server, an initiation of a rapid checkout by the customer and generating, within a computerized processor, an inspection list for a store employee based upon the initiation. The inspection list includes a summary of items scanned by the customer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Douglas James Pedley, Richard Neil Cancro, Joel Bennett Acker, Jr.
  • Patent number: 9798983
    Abstract: Exemplary embodiments are directed to reserving physical resources in an enterprise via an electronic reservation environment. An electronic search request for an availability of one or more resources in an enterprise is received from a user through a web page and/or a mobile application and is submitted to a reservation engine. The search request includes one or more resource search parameters received via a graphical user interface associated with the electronic reservation environment. A result identifying resources that satisfy the resource search parameters in the request is received in response to the search request and an electronic metadata request is automatically submitted in response to receipt of the result. The electronic metadata request including resource identifiers corresponding to the resources identified in the result.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: John Paul Thompson, Kurt Haas, Eric Letson, Christopher Johnson
  • Patent number: 9782018
    Abstract: Exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure relate to a merchandise display system having a modular wall assembly configured to provide electrical power to one or more shelf assemblies. The wall assembly can include a vertically oriented back panel, a cross bar horizontally and detachably mounted to the back panel, a pair of vertical uprights and a top cap. The pair of vertical uprights can be detachably mounted to the cross bar with each of the vertical uprights having an electrically non-conductive portion and an electrically conductive portion. The electrically conductive portion can be electrically isolated from the cross bar by the electrically non-conductive portion. The top cap can be disposed along an upper edge of the back panel and in electrical contact with electrically conductive portion of each of the vertical uprights.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2017
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventor: Sunshine Rae Hester-Redmond
  • Patent number: D806977
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2018
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Jeffrey Green, Jesse Ashley