Walmart has announced that it is working on two new AR (augmented reality) features that will help customers make better purchasing decisions in-store and at home. The first feature to be rolled out in July is a feature we’ve seen before with major retailers’ apps, and it’s the ability for customers to see what products will look like at home.
While this isn’t brand new technology, as Etsy and Amazon have experimented with similar AR technology, it’s new to the Walmart catalog. For starters, this feature will only be available on iOS devices with Android and mobile web functionality coming later.
The AR experience will initially be available for 300 furniture and home decor items on the Walmart app, with plans to expand to popular back-to-college items over the next few months. To access the feature, all a customer needs to do is click on the “Show in Your Space” banner on AR-enabled items during in-app purchase, and it will walk them through how to log in to their camera and view the item in its own space.
While AR technology has been called a gimmick in the past, Walmart thinks it’s managed to create something intuitive and give customers a good experience. Even share some reviews from testers:
“The visuals were so realistic and they didn’t place an element in a weird place like with some other apps. I often don’t even try this feature in other apps for that reason, but I’m very impressed. I I absolutely loved this experience.
Walmart Customer AR Tester
Walmart also announced that the feature will include several key accessibility features allowing customers with disabilities to use the feature, including voice descriptions and instructions for blind or visually impaired users.
The AR feature also includes haptic feedback, which allows customers to feel vibrations as they maneuver 3D models around their home and prevents them from dragging objects beyond the boundaries of their room, adding a compelling level of realism to the experience.
Walmart brings AR functionality in-store
The Walmart Global Tech team saw an exciting opportunity with AR technology and wanted to see if it could be used not only by customers but also by team members to help make their lives easier and more efficient.
This led to the development of a AR technology that allows Walmart associates to quickly identify which boxes in the back of the store need to be brought to the shelves and restocked, thus avoiding a much more time-consuming and manual task of scanning through different boxes to find the correct products.
This feature is currently available in over 3,500 stores nationwide and will be rolling out to the remaining stores over the summer. This results in increased efficiency and hopefully fuller shelves on the Walmart network.
Using this technology, however, has allowed in-store customers to benefit from the features as well with some nifty tweaks. For example, this technology could allow Walmart customers to simply point their mobile device’s camera at a store’s shelves through the Walmart app to filter the product assortment based on their personal preferences.
This means that if a customer is gluten-free, using the in-store AR tool, they will be able to use their phone to quickly and easily scan food ingredients to identify gluten-free products, highlighting those on their screen that are gluten-free. correspond to their choice preferences or criteria.
While there’s no release date for this feature, Walmart is clearly aware of the possibilities and uses the same technology internally, so it stands to reason that we could see trials rolling out sooner rather than later.
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