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06/23/2022

Walmart introduces new mobile augmented reality functionality

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Walmart AR-based room design
Walmart is rolling out AR-based room design.

Walmart is streamlining the shopping capabilities of its consumer app with new augmented reality (AR) features.

The discount giant is rolling out an AR-enabled capability on its iOS app to all customers by early July that will enable shoppers to view furniture and home décor items in their personal spaces with a few swipes on their phones. This feature will initially be available for 300 furniture and home décor items, with plans to expand to back-to-college items over the coming months.

To access the feature, customers click the “View in your space” banner on AR-enabled items when shopping in the Walmart app, and they will then be walked through how to connect to their camera and see the item in their own space. Customers will also be able to toggle product dimensions to check if an item will fit in their space and snap a picture for later.

This new option includes haptic feedback, which allows customers to feel vibrations as they maneuver 3D models around their homes and is designed to prevent them from dragging items past the boundaries of their room. Walmart also incorporated several accessibility features. 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 solution provides voice-based instructions and descriptions.

Walmart is also developing a new AR-based in-store feature that will allow customers and associates to point their mobile device camera at store shelves via the Walmart app to filter the assortment based on their personal preferences. 

For example, using the AR in-store tool, customers will be able to use their phone to read food ingredients and identify gluten-free products, as well as to scan store shelves to see which items are on rollback, clearance or part of a rewards program.

We believe the closest store to our customers is in their pocket, and we are focused on making that always-on experience as easy, engaging and personalized as possible,” Brock McKeel, senior VP, site experience, Walmart e-commerce, and Cheryl Ainoa, senior VP, new business and emerging tech, Walmart Global Tech, said in a corporate blog post announcing the new mobile app functionality. Today, we announced two brand-new augmented reality (AR) features on the Walmart app designed to making shopping easier. 

Walmart unveils virtual fitting rooms
Walmart’s latest AR-based mobile innovation follows the March 2022 rollout of the Zeekit virtual fitting room solution to select users of the Walmart app and Walmart.com. Walmart purchased Zeekit, a female-founded, Israeli-based virtual fitting room start-up, in May 2021. The Zeekit platform uses augmented reality to allow shoppers to virtually try on clothes.

Zeekit leverages real-time image processing to map a person’s image into thousands of segments. Clothing is processed in a similar manner and the equivalent points of the two are mapped into one final simulation. To use Zeekit, the customers uploads their picture or choose from a series of models that best represent their height, shape and skin tone to instantly see themselves in any item of clothing. Customers can also share their virtual outfits with friends for a second opinion, enabling a social shopping experience.

[Read more: Walmart unveils virtual fitting rooms]