Walmart may soon let you shop in VR

Two patents describe a virtual reality showroom.

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Mallory Locklear
August 17, 2018 2:51 PM

Walmart has been getting serious about VR and its next project could be a virtual shopping experience. The company has applied for two patents that describe a virtual reality showroom customers could visit and shop from through VR headsets, Bloomberg reports. The idea is that customers could then forgo the traditional shopping experience at a brick-and-mortar store and instead use a VR setup to select items from virtual shelves, which would then be shipped to them.

In February, Walmart acquired the virtual reality startup Spatialand as part of its effort to push VR initiatives, and in June, it launched a virtual shopping tour that let users peruse a virtual apartment in VR. With that feature, users could navigate through the apartment, explore the dozens of items within it that are sold by Walmart and easily get to those items' product pages if they wanted to learn more.

Walmart has begun implementing a number of services and technologies aimed at making the shopping experience more convenient for its customers -- many of which off alternative ways to shop. And those efforts, which include Pickup Towers, automated kiosks, grocery delivery and text-based shopping, are all aimed at giving the retailer a leg up against rival Amazon.

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