Walking through a gigantic supermarket does not sound very tempting. But could it be done from the comfort of home via virtual reality?
Walking along a busy Walmart supermarket does not seem like a very attractive activity. But the thing can charge interest if it could be done from the comfort of home and via virtual reality.
That is what the largest retailer in the world wants to offer, according to documents filed in the office of patents and trademarks. The company has applied for two patents for a "virtual exhibition space" and a system that connects consumers with VR headsets and gloves with sensors to a three-dimensional representation of the United States, according to the Bloomberg agency.
a Walmart store . Customers could walk through digital halls at home and "take" items that would be immediately picked up and shipped from a fully automated distribution center.
"Walmart knows that its stores are too big and difficult for people to process," said Zoe Leavitt, managing analyst for patent researcher CB Insights.
The documents presented are part of Walmart's recent quest for virtual reality an area that promises to retailers with physical stores struggling with costs hugely associated with the maintenance of shops and labor. In February, the retailer acquired Spatialand, a start-up that creates software tools to create virtual reality experiences.
Spatialand is housed in Walmart's internal technology incubator, store number 8, which last year organized a "gala" of electronic commerce "in Los Angeles, a striking event (according to Walmart standards) that the five winners of a Walmart competition to find the best ideas in space.
Walmart moves aggressively towards the digital domain at the same time that Amazon.com Inc. and other technology companies want to establish a physical presence Amazon acquired the Whole Foods Market last year and will also open stores without ATMs, while Google is planning a flagship store in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.
Walmart has asked for more than a dozen virtual reality patents, said Leavitt, but his focus has shifted from the use of virtual reality for his internal business – virtual conference calls – to more external applications aimed at the buyer, says B loom mountain.
For example, a patent was also applied for. an "unguarded store" that gives buyers access to items from a portal that is installed in their home.