Look Out Walmart, Amazon’s VR Shopping Experience May Be On Its Way

by Ian Hamilton • August 30th, 2016

Recent Amazon job listings indicated original VR content is on the way and the tech giant is also building its own VR platform.  The most recent job listing from the company, however, contains perhaps the most significant revelation yet, suggesting a forthcoming 2016 launch of a “physical and digital Virtual Reality shopping experience anchored by new Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR gaming headsets.”

For a long time now we’ve been pondering what a shopping experience in VR from Amazon would do to Walmart, the undisputed leader in physical retail. If you could try on an outfit without heading the store or make sure a particular toy is the perfect size for your child, why would you ever need to go to the store? We’re working toward a future where we just get our groceries from an autobot and then use VR and AR technology to pick out the rest of the stuff we buy to fill our homes. The first company to do this right could fundamentally reshape how we buy stuff in the 21st century.

Of course, Walmart just agreed to spend $3 billion on Jet.com — an up-and-coming e-commerce company that could help it fend off Amazon and its alluring Prime membership, which offers an increasingly compelling list of features ranging from free shipping to a vast library of movies and videos you can watch anytime.

We also note the language in the job description is a little bit dense — it’s possible the writer of the description could be referring to traditional sections of Amazon.com devoted to helping people pick the right VR product, for instance. Then again, what else could a “physical and digital Virtual Reality shopping experience” really mean? It might also refer to a VR storefront for Amazon’s growing collection of games, movies and television shows.

Here’s a larger excerpt from the job description for the position working in Sr. Business Development and Digital Video Games in Seattle:

In 2016, we will launch a physical and digital Virtual Reality shopping experience anchored by new Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR gaming headsets, debut Nintendo’s unannounced next-generation gaming console, simultaneously grow our physical market segment share while we continue to scale our digital console, PC and Free-to-Play businesses, and deliver multiple surprise and delight innovations in loyalty, on-site, and delivery experience to both Prime and non-Prime customers.

I reached out to Amazon for comment.

h/t: VR Focus

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