Big Brother Walmart Tries to “Help” You: “It’s Like Magic”

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On the bleeding edge of “in-fridge delivery.”

It’s great that Walmart is out there on the bleeding edge of technology, coming up with stuff and testing gizmos and doing things differently before it gets run over by Amazon. It’s trying to stay relevant in the era of online shopping and Millennials. Stopping Amazon is a dirty job, but someone has got to do it.

But good grief – connect the lock of our home to the Internet so that Walmart can get into our fridge?

And so soon after the Equifax hack that showed just how easy it is to crack open corporate IT systems even when they contain the crown jewels of consumer data?

How easy must it be to hack the software in a mere door lock, the connection from the door lock to the server, the app that runs that thing, the communication system with Walmart…. One vulnerability in the chain, such as a missed security update on the server of some obscure middleman, and suddenly hackers can let themselves and others into our home at will.

And this: Install security cameras inside our home and connect them to the Internet so that, when the system gets hacked, everyone else can see what’s going on inside our home?

My home used to be my castle.

So here’s the idea, from Walmart’s blog. It starts out with a truth that practically everyone, particularly me who has to do much of the grocery shopping, can agree with:

There’s nothing in my fridge that I want to eat. How am I going to find time to go grocery shopping?

Shopping for groceries can be a hassle for my busy family. We need to make the time to go to the store, make sure we find everything on our list (and a few things that likely weren’t), lug them home and then put them away.

But then it gets just a little creepier…

So we asked the question: what if Walmart could help busy families like mine ensure my fridge was always well-stocked?

Creepy because suddenly Walmart is given access to our fridge to “help” us. But let’s soldier on:

What if we created a service that not only did my grocery shopping and brought everything to my home, but even went so far as to put it directly into my fridge? And, what if it was even more convenient because this “in-fridge delivery” happened while I was at work or off doing other things?

Now I’m getting the willies. Walmart is offering to do our grocery shopping, bring everything to our place, and put it in the fridge? How the heck is Walmart getting into our fridge while no one is home?




Here we go – Walmart on the bleeding edge of the Internet of Things. It’s a three-step program.

Step one: We need a keyless Internet-connected door lock for the front door of our home. The lock is controlled by an app on our smartphone. Walmart partnered with August Home, inevitably a startup in San Francisco that sells “smarter home access products and services.”

“Give keyless entry to family, friends, housekeepers and others without worrying about lost or copied keys,” it says. As a side-benefit, it can give keyless entry to hackers. “Control and monitor your door from anywhere,” it says – you, or whoever hacks into it.

August Home raised $73 million in venture funding in five rounds, including $25 million in July.

Step two: Connect the security cameras inside our home to the Internet of Things so that we can watch on our smartphone who is coming and going, and what’s going on in our kitchen, hallway, or wherever else.

Step three: The test. Walmart is partnering with August Home. The willing test subjects would place an order at Walmart’s online store for whatever, “even groceries”:

When my order is ready, a Deliv driver will retrieve my items and bring them to my home. If no one answers the doorbell, he or she will have a one-time passcode that I’ve pre-authorized which will open my home’s smart lock.

As the homeowner, I’m in control of the experience the entire time – the moment the Deliv driver rings my doorbell, I receive a smartphone notification that the delivery is occurring and, if I choose, I can watch the delivery take place in real-time [via the  security cameras].

The Deliv associate will drop off my packages in my foyer and then carry my groceries to the kitchen, unload them in my fridge and leave. I’m watching the entire process from start to finish from my home security cameras through the August app. As I watch the Deliv associate exit my front door, I even receive confirmation that my door has automatically been locked.

Walmart takes care of everything.

Step four? What isn’t mentioned, this being just a test, is the next item to buy: A fridge that is connected to the Internet and that figures out what to reorder directly from Walmart, so we don’t even have to bother entering an order. But that’s for later.

Walmart gushes: “When I enter my house later that day, it’s like magic.” Everything we ordered is in the fridge, unbroken eggs, undamaged peaches, non-squished bananas, non-wilted lettuce, all beautifully stocked inside our chaotic fridge though we never put bananas in the fridge.

Think of the possibilities! Plan a romantic surprise dinner via a few moments on our smartphone while at work, and our dinner is being lined up.

So where can I sign up?

We’re excited to be running this test in Silicon Valley with a small group of August Home customers, all of whom have opted-in to participate in testing this new concept.

And it’s not just our fridge.

And we want to do more in the future by delivering groceries and other orders in whatever location works best for our customers – inside the house for some and in the fridge/freezer in the garage for others. The possibilities are endless….

But Walmart soothes our rattled nerves – I mean, not exactly:

What might seem novel today could be the standard tomorrow. This may not be for everyone – and certainly not right away – but we want to offer customers the opportunity to participate in tests today and help us shape what commerce will look like in the future.

So we’ll steel ourselves for the moment when Walmart, Amazon, Safeway, and assorted hackers manage our fridge and our pantry and run around our home when we’re not there, and we – along with some hackers – get to watch them from afar. Yippee!

Another retailer owned by private equity firms goes bust. Read…  Toys ‘R’ Us Melts Down, Files for Bankruptcy, Bonds Collapse




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  95 comments for “Big Brother Walmart Tries to “Help” You: “It’s Like Magic”

  1. RepubAnon
    Sep 22, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    Companies often have vendors stock things such as their office coffee supplies, tool kits, parts departments, etc. The things to guard against in these contracts include an oversupply of things you don’t want, and an undersupply of things you do want. (Plus, stuff disappearing from the shelves.)

    All in all, anyone signing up for this shouldn’t buy lollypops – it’d be cannibalism for them to eat a sucker…

    • Tom Stone
      Sep 23, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      Come on, if you can’t trust Walmart who can you trust?

    • Gary
      Sep 23, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      Actually the suckers will be the ones investing in this.

      My big concern is, if you’re “monitoring” this activity from somewhere else, isn’t that a huge safety risk? (i.e. driving, working with machinery, etc.)

      • Keith
        Sep 23, 2017 at 3:19 pm

        Plus productivity issues, employees already spend too much time playing on cell phones, and this is just another distraction for the employee to immerse herself with.

  2. RD Blakeslee
    Sep 22, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    “This may not be for everyone…”

    Amen.

    One computer only, sans microphone and camera, nothing else connected to the internet.

    • cdr
      Sep 23, 2017 at 9:23 am

      1) To safely connect a device to the internet, you need to first make sure it does not phone home to the vendor in it’s own. Ever. Anything that does connect automatically needs to be avoided.

      2) then you put OpenVPN on your home router and, using certificates and passwords for security, access the security devices remotely via the OpenVPN connection. This is how I phone home. I even get to watch TV over the internet that requires me to be home to watch it because the internet thinks I’m at home, thanks to OpenVPN. No ports open towards the internet except OpenVPN, which is 99.999999% safe if secured with certificates properly. (Nothing is 100% safe)

      2.1) Or set up a separate subnet or VLAN that no other network device can access. Added expense and requires a lot of know how. Sorry to say, point 2 still requires a fair amount of know how. Letting a vendor create a completely separate network for security might work safely. Giving an internet device a key to the house and allowing it entry without supervision is not smart.

      3) Given all the news stories that show recordings of homes being pilfered, I wonder if home security systems are very secure. I use a motion light on my front porch. 1/2 bright unless triggered. With a led bulb it costs about 25 cents / month to run.

      4) A good quality storm door will make the burglar look next door unless you have something they want. Anything to make it more difficult. You only have to run faster than the slowest person to avoid getting eaten by the bear.

      • cdr
        Sep 23, 2017 at 9:39 am

        FYI – Re Certificates: Computer security requires at least one of the following:

        something you know (a password), something you have (an encryption certificate), something you do (2 factor)

        A password combined with a certificate provides good VPN security. Nobody can get in unless they have the certificate file. Just having the password is not enough. Better security ties a user to a specific certificate and a certificate to a specific device. (You make your own certificates if all you are doing is proving your identity to yourself or family. To go public you buy one.)

  3. Sep 22, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Modern day servants, never seen, never any embarrassing encounters or accidental eye-contact.

    I want off this ride.

    • Mimi261
      Sep 25, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Yup. A few rich people and everybody else serving them. Which will you be?

  4. AGXIIK
    Sep 22, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    I do not want to live so long as to see R2D2 and C3PistOff raid my liquor cabinet, loot my safe and doing the wild thing on my Bed Bath and Beyond Branch and Boll best linen. The last time it happened it took 3 washings to get rid of the 3 in 1 oil smell.

    If I want something from the store I send my plutonium powered sex doll cyborg Kimberly to the super market with list in hand and a chip paypal in her —– well, you know.
    We only had one problem to date. She came back with a cart full of KY. She said she was hungry.
    So Mr Wal Mart, good luck with this idiocy. What brain damaged moron is so derelict in the simple basics of grocery shopping that they need to turn it over to some hacker heaven aided and abetted by Wal Mart Sheesh

    • R2D2
      Sep 22, 2017 at 11:41 pm

      Hey, how about some courtesy? I and C3P0 had a few drinks with your Kimberly, but we never looted your safe, or did wild things with your Kimberly on your bed. Ask Walmart delivery what happened to your safe or who did the bad deed on your bed.

      • AGXIIK
        Sep 23, 2017 at 10:51 am

        Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics was good 60 years ago. Now it’s Antifa, Hackers and every man for himself. That seems to have infected the IOT. Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll still with my old tech. Works just fine and besides which, we like to go to the grocery store.

    • economicminor
      Sep 23, 2017 at 11:25 am

      AGXIIK, thank you for the comedy. That was great!

      I heard about this on TV news last night and wondered who would and how WM could possibly make any money on this crazy idea? The who would I can only imagine.. How much would that quart of milk cost to have it delivered by my local security firm?

      Where are we going? There really are red and blue areas of this country. The red people live in a world of hard work and real things, even nature. The blue people live in another world where cybersex robots take driverless vehicles to fill their cupboards and refrigerators and cook their food?

      I think of things like the Hunger Games and the Matrix.

      I guess I’m on the out list as far as comment notifications. It did make it easier to read everyone’s additional comments after the first run thru.

  5. fajensen
    Sep 22, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    Should be fun, I mean, with all those complex moving parts and strange partnerships:

    “The Deliv associate” …. doesn’t that sound a lot like those one person enterprises where some poor sap buys or more like rent “a business” or franchise from a “brand name provider” who runs the order flow?

    A “No background checks required – 120% financing available” – deal?

    It does bugs me with the Web 2.0 mispeling of normal words to be “edgy” and stuff.

    It also bugs me how advertisers think that normal things are suddenly difficult, near impossible to do.

    Probably bugs me more that SilCon Valley thinks that adding yet more complexity, risks, and even longer chains of parasites to simple things is innovative and new. And people are buying this kind of thinking!

    It’s something in ye goode olden days only someone like NATO or DOD procurement would do!!

    Anyway, here in Sweden it has long been a thing to order a weekly bag of groceries. With recipes, without, “themed” and so on. Delivered or picked up in the shop. We do have to put it in the fridge though. We don’t yet have those locks that are smarter than ourselves ;).

    https://www.ica.se/handla-online/ica-matkassen/

    https://www.linasmatkasse.se

  6. R2D2
    Sep 22, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    The braindead Walmart executives must be totally out of ideas to suggest such as nonsense. Let’s hope the real ugly corporations such as Walmart die a slow horrible death.

    • MC
      Sep 23, 2017 at 3:37 am

      This is their response to Amazon Pantry. Or to be more precise, this is all they could come up with to challenge Amazon Pantry.

      Pantry is a pretty low-tech system, as it piggybacks on existing Amazon infrastructures and only requires the customer to have a Prime account, a WiFi network and be at home when the groceries are delivered.

      Walmart… right. It requires installing a keyless door and a security system compatible with the whole network. I also take the “Deliv drivers” will be screened for previous criminal offenses: you don’t want a known burglar or sex offender going inside people’s home more or less at will. That would probably cause the whole scheme to die faster than Honda’s embarrassingly bad Hondamatic motorcycles.

    • Frederick
      Sep 23, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      Add the FED and the ECB to that list of hopefuls

  7. michael w Earussi
    Sep 22, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    An idea as old as history. First you create a problem (such as sin, or an empty fridge), then you create the solution to that problem (redemption, or a friendly fridge refilling robot). Problem solved, with the problem solver raking a nice profit off the top.

    • IwasGnarth
      Sep 24, 2017 at 5:18 am

      Concise, funny and profound. Although you forgot to add the century or ten of control and war, to go with nice profit.

    • Mike B
      Sep 24, 2017 at 10:50 am

      That was precisely the insight that Edward Bernays had in the 20’s Way back in the Bronze Age of advertising.

      Manufacturing needs, wants and desires out of thin air.

      You should watch the BBC documentary “The Centuy of the Self” if you haven’t already.

  8. polecat
    Sep 23, 2017 at 12:08 am

    The Corporate ‘mind’ in this day and age has become unf#cking believable !!

  9. MF
    Sep 23, 2017 at 12:30 am

    Sans personally-owned cars, status signaling must rely on demonstrating how many services you can afford to maintain. Plus, who wants to lug a bunch of unseemly Walmart bags on a bus or train?

    It’s also suited for yet another refinement in the just-in-time warehouse on wheels model. Walmart will be able to predict with great accuracy what products need delivery 90+ days in advance.

    A delivery model will also allow for using store floor space for high-margin impulse items like toys of all stripes and for all ages.

    Walmart gets it, even if most people don’t … yet.

  10. Rates
    Sep 23, 2017 at 12:41 am

    Internet of Things? Please, Internet of Thieves/Thugs is more like it. But why stop there? How about self driving vehicles? You don’t like someone? You hack it and you can run the guy over.

    Isn’t the future bright?

    • fajensen
      Sep 23, 2017 at 1:28 am

      Maybe not bright, but, It’s Colorful.

  11. alex in san jose AKA digital Detroit
    Sep 23, 2017 at 2:05 am

    I’ve had an interesting experience today. I ordered a pair of pants to be delivered to the local Amazon Locker and … I never got sent an email with the unlock code.

    So, I called Amazon’s helpline (thanks, Google!) and talked with a couple of nice gals in India (or thereabouts; the first one hilariously started out with a Brit accent) and after tons of authentication, got emailed the unlock code. But this seems to be a systematic problem. The email’s supposed to be automatically sent but sometimes it isn’t, and it happens often enough that Amazon’s got a boiler-plate email for it.

    At this rate I might go back to buying my pants at the cop store.

    • Sep 23, 2017 at 10:46 am

      Bought a beautiful pair of slacks at Walmart for $5, summer sale. They aren’t going to give you that online, and free delivery.

      • alex in san jose AKA digital Detroit
        Sep 23, 2017 at 6:00 pm

        (Beautiful pair of slacks) … (Walmart) one of these things is not like the other…

        Truth is, when I lived in the rurals, Wal’s was my go-to for “pro rodeo” Wranglers, best jeans evar.

  12. will
    Sep 23, 2017 at 2:10 am

    hmmm. I like how the assumption is that locks keep people from breaking into your home vs. locks just making it ‘probably’ more inconvenient to walk into your home, so the potential thief tries the neighbor’s house instead (and so on and so forth until, hopefully the thief strikes in a different neighborhood).

    I’m not advocating on Walmart’s behalf, but if someone’s willing to hack Walmart to get your door unlock code, I’m pretty sure they could just kick down the door without it. Unless, of course, they’re looking at stealing your fresh milk – the delivery schedule of which is in the Walmart DB.

    Just sayin’..

    Which reminds me of a story I heard years ago at a (grad school) party. One of the grad students there brought her girlfriend – just some suit that worked at Target corporate (Target is HQ’d here in town). This chic went on and on about how great it was going to be in the immediate future when Target would know exactly what was in your fridge and auto-reorder your milk or whatnot (hopefully you don’t keep your KY jelly in the fridge) and how super-duper it would all be. Creepy (and weird) as hell I’d say. I’d be more interested in them inventing Underwear Gnomes or something..

    It really will be interesting to see if anyone ends up really being at all interested in a ‘smart home’ or not..

  13. Tom T
    Sep 23, 2017 at 2:35 am

    Gosh …. Is it April 1st already Wolf? Good job should bring your readership down a peg. Touche

  14. marco
    Sep 23, 2017 at 6:38 am

    When you’re the most obese society the world has ever known, too fat to even get up to stock your own fridge …..

    This kind of stuff appears “normal”

  15. JungleJim
    Sep 23, 2017 at 6:42 am

    This is one of those ideas that sound better if you say them fast.

    If your home is burglarized using a hacked key card, how will the police investigate ? There won’t be any sign of forced entry. Can you prove that anything is actually missing ? Who can you sue for redress, the grocery company, the software vendor, the landlord ???? What a can of worms Wallyworld is opening !

  16. Bill
    Sep 23, 2017 at 6:50 am

    But wouldn’t it be so inconvenient and inefficient for Walmart to cart real food to our homes. Why not just supply each house with food pills? Yellow, green, blue, whatever your fancy for each pill “meal.” The wealthy could order food pills that mimic fancy restaurant dishes.

  17. mikey
    Sep 23, 2017 at 6:56 am

    This could work but you would probably want a house design where the refrigerator was built into an external wall and contained a divider only raisable from the inside. A similar design for a closet type of thing for other packages.

  18. MC
    Sep 23, 2017 at 7:00 am

    Looking forward to the day when Walmart and Amazon buys the home with complete monitoring features so that they can completely lock in their customers.

    “Search for [insert name of competitor] and your chair will administer an electrical shock.”

    “Don’t by the minimum amount required on a weekly basis and you get death metal via connected smart speaker at 3 am in the morning.”

    Did I forget that we look forward to having the mega stores control our finances too, so that they can be sure to get their cut? Let’s see rent, food, daily essentials, so looking forward to the day when I have to pay money to go to the bathroom in my own house.

  19. Kent
    Sep 23, 2017 at 7:27 am

    So I just have to hack the server and change Wolf’s self phone number to my disposable and I have full control over his house and cameras?

    Sweet!

  20. Petunia
    Sep 23, 2017 at 8:14 am

    I fine Walmart’s business practices so sleazy I don’t go into their stores. Why would I let them into my house? Riddle me that.

    • Sep 23, 2017 at 10:47 am

      Most people don’t like Walmart for the clientele, but online shopping and delivery makes it all good.

  21. Halsey Taylor
    Sep 23, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Who in their right mind would expect Walmart to pick the freshest, most attractive items for a ‘stock with no inspection’ program? Not to mention that the poorly paid stockers would be looking for extra income as they stock.

    There are foolish people always looking to play with the next trendy thing so they’ll have some takers.

    • thelocalpragmatist
      Sep 23, 2017 at 5:53 pm

      “There are foolish people always looking to play with the next trendy thing so they’ll have some takers.”

      Halsey,
      They will cut you every which way but loose….

  22. James Exum
    Sep 23, 2017 at 8:58 am

    A great example of my management rule #7. Just because you can – does not mean you should.

  23. Wilbur58
    Sep 23, 2017 at 9:07 am

    The printer at work… having an ink monitor so that it’s refilled on time? Good. Opening your home to strangers? Bad.

    Interesting that this would come on the heels of the HP article.

    Will they check the bathrooms and restock the toilet paper and toothpaste? The soap bar in the shower?

    • fajensen
      Sep 24, 2017 at 12:17 am

      There are differences:

      I don’t care about my place of work. If I come on Monday and find a smoldering hole where it was I’ll just take the week off.

      Walmart equally doesn’t care about my home. If the “independent contractors” delivering are pedos straight out of jail, the it services runs on ISIS servers, and so on the only response from them would be “we couldn’t possibly imagine …”

      In the company, we control the supply chain. It is in the contract who does what and exactly who is responsible (and we have lawyers and procurement officers to send round). Here? Some everchanging blob of services (who can all blame each other and *you* have to figure out who is responsible for your missing cat and that off-color vindaloo).

      This is a complex service relying on a great deal of trust to sell and here They are adding IT-sauce and outsourcing making it yet more complex and less transparent …

  24. Mary
    Sep 23, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Hilarious. “The bleeding edge of technology” Wonderful.

  25. ft
    Sep 23, 2017 at 9:33 am

    There seems to be a misconception that hooking things to the internet or a network makes them work better. If I was busy enough (and rich enough) to want my refrigerator stocked, I would hire a person to do the job.

  26. David G La
    Sep 23, 2017 at 9:34 am

    and the elephant in the room – who would pay all this for WALMART produce?

    • Michael
      Sep 23, 2017 at 10:05 am

      This scheme seems to be outside the average Walmart customers economic means.

    • RoseN
      Sep 23, 2017 at 10:53 am

      Exactly. Have people been to a Walmart lately and seen their offerings? The folks who like shopping at Walmart for groceries are not going to pay for this type of fancy service. Their budgets are tight, and they generally don’t pay for services that they can do themselves.

  27. Tom Kauser
    Sep 23, 2017 at 9:39 am

    When you pay 150k a year to a starting programmer everything looks like a computer problem? There are more mangers than truck unloaders? Rudderless !

  28. james
    Sep 23, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Great article! I forsee a new blog for you spelunking the depths of corporate privacy invasions.

    Equifax may be the shock that gets many people to push back against this kind of stuff because it took something abstract- ‘a hack’ and required them to do something real -‘lock their credit’, an then later unlock it then lock it again!

    Pavlovian conditioning against privacy intrusion.

    • Frederick
      Sep 23, 2017 at 10:19 am

      Speaking of Equifax I believe their stock price was up on Friday

  29. Bobber
    Sep 23, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Great idea. I will leave my financial records and wife’s underwear by the door so they don’t tear up the house looking for it.

  30. Lori Takano
    Sep 23, 2017 at 10:38 am

    I spent almost 30 years in the Information Technology field, a significant part of that as head of IT departments for several U.S. corporations. I have been telling people for years that the Internet is not safe, and never will be safe. I use it, but forearmed with the understanding that it is not safe, and never will be safe, and why that is true. And almost every day, some huge hack of this corporation and that corporation continues to prove me absolutely 100 PERCENT correct. The number of US corporations and US government agencies that have been hacked and continue to be hacked is mind-boggling to say the least. And to mention just one that most Americans don’t know about: How Bengladesh lost $100 million of their money while it was safely stored at the NY Federal Reserve. Of all the entities out there, you would think… None of this including Equifax surprises me one little bit. And I could go on and on and on and on. Even the headquarters for the United States Army Missile Command got hacked and mucho highly classified information stolen. And we won’t talk about the hacking of US Government personnel records containing information on federal employees, some with top secret clearances. And on and on it goes. Trust Walmart? LIKE HELL, I WILL! I don’t even trust my own government.

    Mr. Richter, you’re the Man. Love your website and your articles.

    Lori (a pseudonym) because I like my privacy for as long as it might last.

    • TXRancher
      Sep 23, 2017 at 1:12 pm

      “Even the headquarters for the United States Army Missile Command got hacked and mucho highly classified information stolen. ”

      Fake news. Highly classified or any classified data is not available on a network that can be hacked. It must be physically copied and transferred by someone who has security clearance just like classified emails sent to Hillary Clinton.

    • TXRancher
      Sep 23, 2017 at 1:21 pm

      “hacking of US Government personnel records containing information on federal employees, some with top secret clearances. ”

      Yes this occurred and I was a victim. This data was sensitive personal data but not classified. And yes people with Top Secret clearances lost their personal data the same as people with lower clearances.

  31. Sep 23, 2017 at 10:40 am

    I have already began setting up my house this way, (being of that age where I might need some help) with various levels of access. I put locks on inside rooms, passwords on my PC, locked code books, so that several people can come in my house and each one has access to what I want them to have. It should become a bigger business than mere surveillance. As for the mold in my frig, you can have that.

  32. Erskine
    Sep 23, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Technology, the great Time Saviour! While I’m busy at work all day monitoring my credit report and bank accounts because Equifax, Walmart, a company I’ve not given a penny to in 9 years because shitty business practices, wants to send its employees into my home?

  33. AGXIIK
    Sep 23, 2017 at 11:15 am

    How about this?
    Amazon Drone-drops Soylent at your front door

  34. nick kelly
    Sep 23, 2017 at 11:23 am

    How about this: if delivery is going to be a big part of future we need a type of post box that we can allow external access to via smart phone etc.
    Maybe with camera built in.
    One big enough to accept quite a bit of stuff could be retro fit to a door.

    But Wally’s guy wandering around in your house? Forget it.

  35. Gershon
    Sep 23, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Those quality Wal-Mart employees waltzing into my house when I’m not around…what could possibly go wrong?

    • MC
      Sep 23, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      Sorry, there’s a newly arrived note from Walmart corporate HQ: these are not “Walmart employees” but “Deliv associates”.
      Meaning some poor soul who rented a franchise from a firm Walmart either controls only in part or not at all and is trying to avoid death by starvation.

  36. unit472
    Sep 23, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Need not be so complex. I remember the ‘milkman’ and I’m 65. He came by and delivered milk, orange juice, cottage cheese to an insulated box outside your door.

    No reason why Walmart could not provide an insulated box or refrigerator for those who want the service. Of course it would have to be a secured box because America is a much more dishonest nation today than it was when I was a kid and that is the REAL problem.

    • Gary
      Sep 23, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      Great point, but I think the economics are different now than in your milkman example. Notice there are no milkmen anymore? And now we are going to reverse that trend? Doesn’t seem likely.

  37. michael Engel
    Sep 23, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Where do you get food, where to buy a bottle of water ?
    Crazy Rocket Mean might give you a clue.
    Instead of doing a H – bomb test in the atmosphere, that can shutdown
    everything, including the internet, he resorted to do it underground.
    Harvey & Irma hurricanes that hit Tx and Fl prove the same.

  38. penfold dangermouse
    Sep 23, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Have the folks at the C-Suites Walmart HQ in Bentonville even set foot in their stores incognito?

    People who would be able to afford future smart homes are not shopping at Walmart for groceries in any EPS meaningful way. Period. And dare I say—-never will. Especially when Instacart already exists.

    And for busy parents with kids—-ask your wife/cousin/sister if they want a random person stocking your fridge while no one is home. Creepy—barring a major social change in the concept of privacy over the next few years—which given who millennials as a group are lax w/privacy, isn’t inconceivable.

    • Kent
      Sep 23, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Never fly in my house. My wife would want to clean the place head to toe before anyone showed up.

      • nick kelly
        Sep 23, 2017 at 3:29 pm

        And get rid of my roaches. (pesky critters)

        • SnotFroth
          Sep 24, 2017 at 3:34 am

          Indeed, and if live in a place that persecutes those who harbor such pesky critters, it may be unwise to have internet-connected cameras monitoring your “private” space.

  39. stan
    Sep 23, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    I remember seeing these wild ideas of crazy internet services around the previous tech crash. Some stayed, the real silly ones crashed and burned. To me it is a sign of investment money (thanks to federal reserve) looking for something to do. As Warren says, when the tide goes out…

  40. walter map
    Sep 23, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Anybody who ‘doesn’t have time’ to do their own grocery shopping seriously needs to examine their misbegotten lifestyle choices. Makes me wonder how people are frittering their lives away doing things devoid of any joie de vivre.

    If grocery shopping isn’t a pleasure you’re doing it wrong. Start with the boulangerie and proceed to the pâtisserie, boucherie, charcuterie, crémerie, and poissonnerie. It will give you the chance to learn how to cook so you don’t waste your money in corporate chain ‘restaurants’.

    OTOH, if you need to be told these things, it’s just possible you’ve long since been suckered by corporatist marketing into useless fads and are already so far gone there’s nothing left worth trying to salvage.

    • Raymond C Rogers
      Sep 23, 2017 at 7:59 pm

      Haha, I can’t remember agreeing with you on anything else, but I guess stranger things have happened.

      In most instances, if you commit to so may activities, including social media, you create your own problems.

      Just a note on security. Id personally never trust keyless entry. And if you haven’t replaced the screws in your door jamb securing it to the rest of the structure you are being complacent as letting a walmart employee in your house. Door jambs are usually made of cheap materials and an can break rather easily. You can get door jamb reinforcment kits cheap, and they easy to intall. They have the longer screws included. If you can afford a level two lock, it is worth it.

      There are plenty of videos on youtube of thieves, and what they look for and how they get in. Most are the smash and grab types. Those picking serious locks pick serious targets. Most of us don’t have million dollar paintings in our homes.

  41. AGXIIK
    Sep 23, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Mini Me doesn’t need an EMP All he has to do is wait until we’re all connected to the IOT with sock puppets delivering our stuff.

    If IOT is a rubber glove, Rocket man is the protologist. KY’s delivered in tanker trucks.
    The silliness of Walmart getting into this business is the lunacy of the boffin class at Wal Mart’s IT department looking to kill tim and a leg up to the C suite.
    Maybe the 1% likes the idea of toast point N pate delivered in 30 minutes to their penthouse. But if you’re not George Jetson then you’re a ground pounding prole
    Example I was at Wal Mart last night to pick up some meds. The lines were filled and the RX dept was 5 deep. These are the people who start early and work late.

    The idea of them setting up home delivery is nonsensical They don’t make the income. Besides which,if every password starts with Mossberg 500 or 1911 it’s to easy to hack that.
    Rant off

  42. walter map
    Sep 23, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    It is easy to envisage a happy future where people live out their lives in a barcalounger with an IV drip and a VR helmet to save on the cost and inconvenience of a robot surrogate.

    O brave new world, that has such people in’t!

  43. Duke De Guise
    Sep 23, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    My startup is a disruptively innovative app/platform that sends young people – a premium charged for those with blond hair and blue eyes – to your house to wipe your butt. After all, you’re so important and busy that you just don’t have the time.

    Looking for investors and prospective “associates:” any takers?

    • walter map
      Sep 23, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      As seen on Shark Tank last season. It’s outside-the-box, sure, but you also have to be first to market.

    • nick kelly
      Sep 23, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      ‘a premium charged for those with blond hair and blue eyes’

      Wiper or wipee?

      • Duke De Guise
        Sep 24, 2017 at 10:49 am

        Walter Map,

        Uh-Oh, I better get moving, or my VC funders stomachs will start growling.

        Nick Kelly,

        Wipers, of course. The assumption being that it’s a status symbol to have your butt wiped by those with Aryan features. After all, just about anyone can get an undocumented immigrant to wipe their butts, but getting some blonde-haired, blue-eyed sorority sister to do shows that you’ve got clout!

        And as long as I’ve got your attention, let me test market my startup’s name: “Butt Of Course!”

  44. Dan Romig
    Sep 23, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    I posted this link to Samsung’s ‘Smart Frides’ a while ago, and it seems like they may be close to consumer acceptance with these?:

    http://www.samsung.com/us/explore/family-hub-refrigerator/connected-hub/

  45. IAV8
    Sep 23, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Yeeeeaaahhhh NO. I don’t mind if the stuff comes TO my house, no way in hell that its coming IN my house. Drop it in the thermal box on my stoop with some dry ice and Ill bring it in when I get home, thanks. And I think Walmart can send me over a thermal box too. Big enough for it to hold all the shit they’ll be sending over. And they better have a license to deliver beer and wine or the deal is off. And my prescriptions, if any are filled.

  46. Maximus Minimus
    Sep 23, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Wallmart is advocating a fridge for the new century. The fridge is built into your house’s front wall, and has two doors: outside, as well as inside. This is so brilliant that Elon Musk will claim it was his idea.

    • TXRancher
      Sep 23, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      HaHa agreed. But Elon Musk would suggest a pneumatic tube network similar to what banks use for customer deposits/receipts for every house that Walmart can provide delivery. If it works for trains should work for groceries.

      • Ed
        Sep 23, 2017 at 7:48 pm

        Sounds like the movie Brazil

        (which could be a vision of the future concocted whilst on drugs, just to agree with ‘mean chicken’. I particularly enjoyed the scene with the shared desk. Madness of big business organizations.)

    • mean chicken
      Sep 23, 2017 at 6:47 pm

      Sounds like a bad acid trip to me.

  47. rex
    Sep 23, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    What?! Pass up a chance to go to the local sidesho-er, Walmart and miss out on seeing all those “interesting” folks? #People of walmart

  48. mean chicken
    Sep 23, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    “Offer not good after curfew in sectors R or N.”

    Seriously, I’m not sure about this whole subject but common sense tell me it’s pure nonsense. I fully acknowledge I’ve been wrong many times before, for instance when I learned NYC didn’t require an Medallion license to operate a cab and friends telling me their experience with Blue Apron was positive and they intend to keep buying from them.

    • Michael Fiorillo
      Sep 24, 2017 at 10:54 am

      Blue Apron’s stock price is down 48% (on its eventual way to its real value, which is zero) from it’s IPO price. Your friends may still be buying from them, but others clearly are not.

  49. David, by the lake
    Sep 23, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    This goes in the ” no freakin way” folder, right there with chipping.

  50. raxadian
    Sep 23, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Electronic looks are, specially those attached to a mere door, not that safe. It works on a safe because the safe is made out of reinforced steel. Your not really wood door can be opened with just a crowbar. And yes they sell safety doors that are totally unsafe because the door is made of more fragile material than the lock or locks. And yes they have opened those with crowbars.

    Even worse, an electronic wireless lock can be hacked remotely. So even without a data leak they can just keep trying until they unlock it.

    Give it internet access of some kind? Yeah… good luck.

  51. R Davis
    Sep 23, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Have you watched the – Google Home Demo – IO 2016
    I love this thing – though I’m not sure how long it would take not to.

    “Darling will you please take out the garbage bins – so that Google Home can stop nagging you”
    “If I hear that voice one more time”
    “That voice – nag – nag – nag – get rid of it”

    You know how children ask silly questions & awkward questions.

    “Okay Google – where do baby’s come from ?”
    “Why do I have a willy & Sally doesn’t ?”

    Can parents trust that Google can answer the questions children ask in an appropriate way ?

  52. AGXIIK
    Sep 24, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Google
    The Panopticon of Plato’s Republic

  53. Bruce K in Colorado
    Sep 24, 2017 at 10:14 am

    LAWSUIT CENTRAL!

    Dog gets out.
    Parakeet flies the coop.
    Teen daughter asaulted
    Couple was on the couch doin it
    Fridge full. Good leftovers wasted
    I-phone disappears
    Copy of code gets hacked
    House keys duplicated
    Web cam left in the bedroom
    Walmart guy shot in the chest

  54. JK (the other John)
    Sep 24, 2017 at 10:31 am

    This program sounds like it is for people who are not responsible enough to be homeowners.

    Can’t find time to grab a few groceries. Indeed!

  55. Sleeper
    Sep 24, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Meh,

    I’m still waiting for the Orgasmstron ;

    • Mike in SLO
      Sep 24, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      Sleeper wins best comment of the thread award…

  56. d
    Sep 24, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    So that, FBI, NSA, DHS, DEA, FSB, CCP, Local law enforcement, and anybody else who wants too (Burglars Etc), can piggyback in on.

    Are Americans really this stupid.

    Something tells me many of them are.

  57. intosh
    Sep 25, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    I’m waiting for a SV startup to offer a service whereby some gig-slave come to spoon feed me while I read news on Facebook or make friends on Snapchat.

Comments are closed.