While many retailers have implemented Try-Before-You-Buy features in their apps, Walmart is moving in a different direction by providing buyers with an augmented reality tool that allows them to compare the products they want to buy ,
Available exclusively for iOS (App versions 18.20 and ARKit-compatible devices running at least iOS 11.3), shoppers can access the new tool by tapping the 3D cube icon through the existing barcode scanner.
When users scan the barcodes, the app anchors a blue dot in the camera view and pulls it up a map with product name and price as well as rating and number of reviews. When customers scan additional items, they can put the camera back on the previously scanned items to re-display the product information so that price and quality can be quickly and easily compared between different options.
"Walmart shoppers love to use our mobile app barcode Scanners as reviewers: Our team, however, sees the potential of this product even more: when a customer launches the scanner, they get a direct link between the digital and the digital physical world that his screen and his camera lens create for him, "said Tim Fields, Senior Engineering Manager at Walmart Labs, in a blog post.
"This is the magic of Augmented Reality Making the real world more valuable is an incredibly powerful communication medium, because people instinctively" understand. "There's only a small learning curve."
The feature was last Born spring by an internal Walmart hackathon. Fields and his team learned from their explorations with ARKit lessons and came up with the idea to improve the scanning of bar codes based on their frequency and reliability as a feature in the app.
"After In several presentations, we focused on an idea that we thought could solve three customer issues that we have not been able to solve successfully: How can we not only load products faster with scanning, but also feel faster? If we were to simplify the comparison of products at more than price, if scanning is more fun, will customers tend to use them? "said Fields.
Until recently, retailers focused on selling products in AR based primarily on qualitative aspects, such as how furniture looks in a user's room or whether a lipstick highlights the green in the user's eyes.
Now, with Walmart's updated app and pairings like Amazon's visual search partnership with Snapchat and Google Lens, using Computer Vision to explore the physical world, retailers and tech companies are beginning to expand on AR's capabilities Making it easier for customers to be supplied with real-world actionable data, not just virtual objects.
These are all enticing steps towards even more commerce-oriented use cases for AR. Nevertheless, these experiences will only really explode if we get smaller, lighter smartphones for the consumer sector. Until then, apps like these are welcome insights into the future.
Do not miss: NR30: The Mobile AR Leaders of 2018