New Patent Lets Amazon Control Retail WiFi
In the midst of Amazon’s highly publicized acquisition of Whole Foods Market last week, the company has quietly earned itself a brand new patent. This patent will essentially control the virtual space of customers when they’re shopping in a retail store.
According to the USPTO, Amazon’s Patent 9,665,881 will prevent buyers from straying towards other retailers by essentially blocking access to rival websites. The patent states that a wireless network may be lawfully controlled inside a brick-and-mortar store to prevent shoppers from making their purchase from a competitor. Clearly, this patent is designed to ultimately direct the buyer towards Amazon for the final purchase.
Amazon Patent Holds Unprecedented Power
The Physical Store Online Shopping Control Patent (USPTO Patent #9,665,881) was quietly granted to Amazon on May 30th while the media was busy discussing the recent acquisition of Whole Foods. However, this online shopping network-control patent may be an even bigger breakthrough for Amazon overall.
In a recent article by Forbes, the new patent is described as an algorithmic system that monitors the WiFi activity of consumers when they enter a physical retail location. The algorithm may block the buyer from accessing websites of competitors in order to direct their final purchase towards Amazon.