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VR in Retail: 9 Companies to Watch in 2018

  • 6 November 2017
  • Shawn Farner

In the past few years, virtual reality has taken off in a big way. The ability to feel as though you’re in a completely different location, surrounded by its sights and sounds, is an alluring prospect. It seems like the perfect application for gaming, and to this point, it has been, but some companies have taken it past that stage and introduced it to the retail world, where businesses can use use the perks of VR to provide better customer experiences.

We’ve gathered ten companies who are pushing the boundaries when it comes to virtual reality use in retail business. Here they are.


Marxent

Serving up Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality room designers and visualization tools for top furniture retailers such as Ashley HomeStores and homebuilders such as Toll Brothers, Marxent is focused on building the future of shopping

The company focuses on creating endless aisle in-store 3D Virtual Reality furniture shopping experiences  as well as in-store and at-home Android and iOS 11 Augmented Reality furniture apps, providing a glimpse of what products might look like in someone’s actual living space. Marxent's AR and VR experiences are all built on top of a 3D content management system purpose built for furniture retailers that allows them to achieve the most realistic, exciting and satisfying furniture buying experiences available today.

Beyond what ARKit can do, for instance, Marxent has developed exclusive Diminished Reality and Behavioral AR techniques that allow for advanced composition in AR environments, such as removing real content from an AR scene and allowing smart digital objects placed into an AR scene to interact – for instance, a the ability to place a 3D lamp onto a 3D table. Stay tuned to see what this company will do in 2018. It's sure to be groundbreaking.


roOomy

Shopping around for a new home can be difficult, but doing so from thousands of miles away presents more of a challenge than, say, looking at your options across town.

roOomy aims to help real estate professionals create virtual, 3D-rendered home listings that prospective buyers can view and customize through roOomy’s iOS apps, as well as roOomy Reality for Google Tango.

Virtual Staging Services – roOomy

On top of that, roOomy makes it more simple for interior designers to 3D map a home and see how their decorating decisions come together before they ever make a purchase.

Interior Design App – roOomy

Catchoom

Catchoom’s focus is around augmented reality and image recognition, primarily through the use of its content management tool, CraftAR.

This platform enables businesses to advertise on websites and in magazines and catalogs using scannable items.

CraftAR Augmented Reality SDK – Catchoom

When consumers scan these items, they can interact with the product in question virtually, which can include anything from taking a walk around a product to actually placing it in their home using augmented reality. Some brands Catchoom has worked with previously include Intel and Gucci.


Sayduck

Shopping for new home products, such as furniture, can be a challenge. Sayduck’s goal is to make it as simple as possible with the help of 3D models and augmented reality.

The company is host to what it claims is the “largest 3D catalog for furniture,” carrying 3D renders of products for brands like Artemide, Alessi, and Ton.

Catalog – Sayduck

Using AR, you can browse through a company’s mobile app to find the product you like and simply “drop” it into your living space, shown through your smartphone’s camera.


SkyVu AR

While other companies are pushing AR and VR use in retail strictly for product interaction, SkuVu AR is taking a more entertainment-focused approach.

The company specializes in “augmented reality gamification,” essentially promising to lure customers in with a “Pokemon GO-type” experience with your brand.

RetailAR – SkyVu AR

The company also offers assistance with 3D asset production, helping businesses turn their products into 3D models that can be used for either AR or VR applications. SkyVu’s gaming pedigree is solid: titles in its BATTLE BEARS franchise have been downloaded over 30 million times.


MERIDIUN AR

Though it has AR in its name, MERIDIUN AR puts more of an emphasis on its capabilities in mixed reality — a middle-of-the-road space between augmented reality and virtual reality.

MERIDIUN AR provides the backbone and tools necessary for companies to create their own mixed reality apps and services, enabling customers to interact with their products using smartphones, tablets, and AR or VR headsets.

The company has worked with Apple, Disney, and Samsung in the past — a pretty impressive list.


Von Bismark

Von Bismark is best known for an app it developed and published on the Xbox One: The Mall, an ecommerce platform that stands out in an ecosystem full of games and streaming video services.

What’s interesting is that Von Bismark can not only show products virtually using the Xbox One platform: it can also deep link to other apps available for the console, which means brands can entice users to look at their products and then send them over to a dedicated app to make a purchase.


Prizmiq

Prizmiq has seen the current state of retail sales and marketing, where companies try to sell customers on their products using 2D photos and videos. It decided enough was enough and built a way for retail companies to offer “photo-realistic 3D shopping experiences.”

3D Samples – Prizmiq

Customers can take a good, hard look at 3D interactive samples, either on a smartphone or using a VR headset, and get a better sense of the product they’re interested in before they put down their money. For purchases consumers might otherwise regret afterward, this is a huge boon.


Augment

If there is a company that has a grasp on how to best use augmented reality in the retail universe, Augment may be it.

The company has worked with major brands like Coca-Cola, Nestle, and Lenovo to “bring a physical presence to online shopping.”

Manager – Augment

Using Augment’s technology, companies can show their products to consumers in a way that better illustrates what they’ll be receiving upon clicking the “Buy” button, which means less surprises and more satisfaction with the purchase down the line.

Did we miss a great example of a company pushing VR in the retail space? Be sure to leave a comment below to fill us in and we’ll be sure to check them out!

About Shawn Farner

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