How does Walmart’s new AR feature put furniture, décor in shoppers’ homes?

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart furniture and home décor shoppers will find their online experience becoming a bit more personalized with the advent of a new augmented reality feature in the retailer’s shopping app.

Rolling out in early July, the iOS app will allow customers to view furniture and décor pieces within their home spaces with just a few swipes on their phones, according to Brock McKeel, senior vice president, site experience, Walmart E-commerce, and Cheryl Ainoa, senior vice president, new businesses and emerging tech, Walmart Global Tech.

The initial experience will focus on 300 furniture and home décor items, to be followed by back-to-school products. Plans also include making the tool available on Android and mobile web.

To access the feature, consumers click on a “view in your space” banner on AR-enabled items when using the Walmart app. This then allows them to connect to their camera and see an item within their own space. Users can toggle the item’s dimensions to see if it fits their room and capture a photo for later reference.

The developers added a haptic feedback feature, which allows shoppers to feel vibrations if they maneuver their items outside the boundaries of the 3D space. For individuals with limited mobility, the AR tool can be manipulated with gesture controls and those with vision issues can use voice-based instructions and descriptions.

The company’s Global Tech group is also developing an in-store AR feature to assist with label reading, couponing and filtering assortments based on personal preferences.

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I’m Joanne Friedrick, research editor for the Home Furnishings Division. I began my career as a newspaper editor and then became a trade journalist, covering myriad industries including pension funds, supermarkets, gourmet food and security systems, just to name a few. Most recently, I entered the home furnishings category as a contributor for HFN and Home Textiles Today before transitioning into research where I now get to tell the stories behind the numbers for all of the HFD titles.

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