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Walmart has announced "augmented reality (AR) features on the Walmart app designed to making shopping easier."

According to a blog posting by Brock McKeel, Senior Vice President, Site Experience, Walmart eCommerce, and Cheryl Ainoa, Senior Vice President, New Businesses & Emerging Tech, Walmart Global Tech, the first feature "allows customers to view furniture and home décor items in their spaces with a few simple swipes on their phones.

"This experience will initially be available for 300 furniture and home décor items, with plans to expand to popular back-to-college items over the coming months. To access the feature, all a customer needs to do is click the ‘View in your space’ banner on AR enabled items when shopping in the Walmart app, and this will walk them through how to connect to their camera and see the item in their own space. They will also be able to toggle the item dimensions to check if the item will fit in their space and snap a picture for later, helping them feel confident purchasing with us. ‘View in your space’ will be available on iOS, with plans to roll out on Android and mobile web."

As an extension of this functionality, the posting said, "Walmart Global Tech is developing a new AR in-store feature that changes how you’ll view key product information. You’ll never look at the store shelf in the same way again! The concept our technologists are building with Walmart designers will allow customers and associates to simply point their mobile device camera at our store shelves via the Walmart app to filter our assortment based on your personal preferences. 

"Imagine you’re a customer who is gluten-free. Using the AR in-store tool, you’ll be able to use your phone to read food ingredients quickly and easily identify gluten-free products. Coupons are another future use case. For example, customers will also be able to scan store shelves to see which items are on rollback, clearance or part of a rewards program. Imagine the possibilities! Perhaps you could scan to see which items are on rollback or receive instant coupons."

These features, the posting said, "are helping us deliver fast, engaging and personalized experiences that take the work out of shopping and underscore our commitment to using technology to save customers time and money."

KC's View:

I'm fascinated by the idea of using AR to provide customers with greater amounts of information and offering a higher standard of transparency.  That's always been the north star for me, and I think anything that makes this a goal is a smart thing.