amazon 2
An Amazon patent details a way to prevent in-store price comparison. Getty

When you’re at the store, it’s long been easy to pull Amazon out and compare product prices. But with a patent filed by Amazon could make that harder to do.

In Amazon’s patent filing, which is titled “Physical Store Online Shopping Control,” the online retailer details a method for preventing shoppers from searching for alternative prices when connected to a store’s own Wi-Fi network, Engadget reported.

Read: Amazon Launches Prime Reload Cash Back Program For Prime Subscribers

If you attempt to browse for a product while on store Wi-Fi, the system can choose to either redirect you to another site, block access to the competing product listing or send an employee to assist you. The patent text says the technology would use the communications between your phone and the store’s Wi-Fi to “triangulate a location or position of the consumer device within the retailer location.” The system could check to see if Amazon’s own price for a specific product was lower by comparison.

The patent has been in the backlog at Amazon for a while. The online retailer originally submitted it in 2012, and it finally was approved in late May. And at the same time, patent filings are rarely a concrete indicator of a company’s future plans. As potentially obnoxious as the feature might be, it’d also be easy to circumvent by simply using mobile data within the store.

But at the same time, the patent is an interesting morsel from Amazon, as the company already has experimented extensively in the physical retail space. Amazon has launched branded retail bookstores that feature a curated selection of books, and its Kindle family of products in major cities throughout the U.S. within the past few years.

In addition, the company has prominently showcased demonstrations for Amazon-branded grocery stores that wouldn’t need to be staffed with cashiers. In these Amazon Go powered stores, you could simply take items from the shelves and be billed automatically once you leave.

Read: Amazon Will Add 30,000 Part-Time Positions Over The Next Year

The push into boutique local retail stores might seem like an odd direction for a traditionally online retailer like Amazon, but the company sees several upsides to the move. For its bookstores, Amazon also can showcase Kindles and engage shoppers in other ways to enter its services ecosystem.

Elsewhere, Amazon — through features like its AmazonFresh grocery delivery service — has made similar dips into the retail grocery market. As CNBC noted, analysts suspect Amazon could target the field more aggressively within the next few years. Already, Amazon and Wal-Mart have butted heads frequently in a bid to lock down shoppers.