June 24, 2022 – US retail giant Walmart has this week announced two brand-new augmented reality (AR) features on the Walmart app that are designed to make shopping easier for customers.
The first feature is rolling out to all customers by early July on the retailer’s iOS app, and will allow customers to view furniture and home décor items in their spaces with a few simple swipes on their phones.
The experience will initially be available for 300 furniture and home décor items, however Walmart noted that it has plans to expand to popular back-to-college items over the coming months. To access the feature, customers need to simply click the ‘View in your space’ banner on AR enabled items when shopping in the Walmart app. This will walk them through how to connect to their camera and see items in their own space. Customers will also be able to toggle the item dimensions to check if the item will fit in their space and snap a picture for later, helping them feel confident in their purchasing decisions.
The ‘View in your space’ functionality will be available on iOS to begin with, with plans to roll out on Android and mobile web at a later date, according to the company. Walmart added that it has extensively tested the feature with its customers, and had received “overwhelmingly positive feedback,” with the company ensuring that the experience has been designed to be as seamless and user-friendly as possible.
Notably, the feature includes haptic feedback, which allows customers to feel vibrations as they maneuver 3D models around their homes. The feedback prevents them from dragging items past the boundaries of their room, and helps to add a further level of realism to the experience.
Walmart has also incorporated several key accessibility features that help ensure customers with disabilities are able to use these new features too. For example, customers with limited mobility can place an item within a room and maneuver it with gesture controls. For customers who are blind or have low vision, the experience provides voice-based instructions and descriptions.
In addition to the ‘View in your space’ feature on its app, Walmart is also utilizing AR to enable new experiences in its stores that help Walmart associates to get products to shelves quickly. Now, Walmart Global Tech is developing a new AR in-store feature that changes how users can view key product information.
The concept that Walmart is building will allow customers and associates to simply point their mobile device camera at shelves in-store via the Walmart app in order to filter items based on personal preferences.
For example, for customers who are gluten-free, using the AR in-store tool they will be able to use their phones to read food ingredients quickly and easily to identify gluten-free products. The company added that things like coupons are another future use case, wherein customers will be able to scan store shelves to see which items are on rollback, clearance or part of a rewards program.
In a company blog post on the announcement, Brock McKeel, Senior Vice President, Site Experience at Walmart eCommerce, and Cheryl Ainoa, Senior Vice President, New Businesses & Emerging Tech at Walmart Global Tech, wrote: “All of these AR-powered features are helping us deliver fast, engaging and personalized experiences that take the work out of shopping and underscore our commitment to using technology to save customers time and money.”
To see the ‘View in your space’ feature, download the Walmart app.
Image / video credit: Walmart
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Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past five years.