Could Apple have plans for an Amazon Prime-like service? A newly filed patent (20170372388) for a “system and method for fresh online experience” hints at this.
Among other things, Amazon Prime members can browse local restaurant menus and order online or on the Amazon mobile app. Apple’s patent filing is for a system and method for visually verifying the exact item a customer will be receiving through the online grocery pick up of a retail store.
The system allows for customers to order a fresh item, such as apples, and view images of the exact fresh item online before finalizing purchase for retail store pickup. The exact fresh item is scanned using three dimensional scanning. The customer views the images and approves or rejects the exact fresh item before finalizing purchase.
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.