VR shopping in Media-Saturn

By | February 9, 2016

VR shopping with HTC vive for planning a kitchen

Media-Saturn, German retailer group for consumer electronic and household appliances, is testing VR shopping in their stores in Ingolstadt and Berlin. Customers use virtual reality headsets for planning their kitchen equipment. Developer version of HTC vive, introduced at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, is used for the experiment. Final version of HTC vive should be available for pre-orders from February 29th.
Customers can move freely in the virtual space, inspect kitchen compilations, choose electrical appliances, change colors and the like. The VR-action is displayed also on monitors .

VR shopping in Media-Saturn shop [image credit: Media-Saturn]

testing Virtual Reality headset in Media-Saturn shop [image credit: Media-Saturn]

2016 is going to be a breakthrough for VR. Several companies like Sony, Samsung, HTC, Oculus VR (aquired by Facebook) and Valve are preparing to launch VR devices. According to statista, the total number of active virtual reality users is forecast to reach 171 million by 2018.
And it is surely not a coincidence that computer graphics card giants Nvidia and AMD are both going to release their newest and most powerful graphic cards this year. Presumably with biggest increase of graphics power in several years, due to the new chip manufacturing process and the new type of graphics card memory. Good news for the VR, since it needs all the graphics power it can get.

The majority of news related to VR is linked to video gaming, of course, but there is huge potential for commerce and eCommerce. Media-Saturn’s experiment shows that clearly. From using VR in physical stores to using it for online shopping is a small step. While it is interesting to see in-store experiment performed by Media-Saturn, it can hardly be imagined that big shopping centers will use VR for their in-store experience on regular basis. In big physical stores it is often hard to find a salesman available to immediately serve our requests. Let alone available salesman and available VR equipment. Online store, on the other hand, is always there and waiting for us, ready and willing to accept our clicks.
It is therefore logical to expect that VR shopping will find majority of it’s users among hundreds of millions of people playing computer games. And those gaming people will not carry their VR headsets around. They will shop online.

Technology is really pushing forward in recent years for eCommerce to become the primary type of shopping. After artificial intelligence and virtual reality, what comes next?

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