Retail giant Walmart is apparently working on technology that would simulate the experience of shopping at the store from the comfort of your couch. Walmart has applied for patents concerning a “virtual reality showroom” involving headsets, “sensor-packed gloves,” simulated environments, and automated shipping. Sounds kind of strange.
You would experience a three-dimensional representation of a Walmart store and do your shopping. Customers can wander digital aisles from home and “grab” items, which will be immediately picked and shipped from a fully automated distribution center to your door.
So in order to get more business, they want customers to buy expensive VR equipment and shop in their virtual store. That doesn’t seem like a very sound idea. When I think VR, I don’t think to myself, “Wow, I can’t wait to shop at a virtual Walmart.”
Likely nothing will come of this, as often happens with patent filings. They have to see what a strange idea this is to the public. It seems like they are willing to try anything to compete with Amazon, but they just can’t seem to catch up to the online retail giant. It will be interesting to see what they do next to try to compete.