Amazon Exploring the Idea of Using VR and AR for Virtual Home Furniture Shopping

Online retail giant Amazon has been exploring several ways of expanding its retail empire, including flying warehouses, drone delivery, and state-of-the-art grocery stores, but has now been reportedly eyeing virtual reality and augmented reality features for its home furniture shopping store. An unnamed source spoke to the New York Times, who was apparently involved in the several discussions within the online retailer’s offices about ideas of how to expand their reach.

VR and AR has mostly been used for gaming but is quickly being seen by companies as a useful tool for improving interactive experience, especially when furniture shopping. Lowe’s for example, already has a virtual reality DIY clinic that lets users don an HTC Vive system to see how a home-improvement project with the products they are selling is going to look.

Lowe’s also has an augmented reality app that helps users navigate through their stores, do price checks and more.

Amazon’s move to VR and AR is prompted by the fact that these items are difficult to sell online sight-unseen with many users reluctant to buy it unless they can see it for themselves. While Amazon is also reportedly planning a brick-and-mortar store to showcase these furnitures and appliances, the VR and AR enhancements serve to help people see how the item will look in their home. The idea is still preliminary but a retail giant like Amazon usually influences many other retailers so however the company decides to incorporate virtual and augmented reality into the shopping experience will most likely be used by other retailers as well.

Ron Perillo

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