Amazon exploring AR home stores

According to the New York Times, Amazon are currently weighing up the benefits of opening home stores where shoppers can see how home appliances would look in their home via AR and VR, as well as physical electronics stores selling Alexa devices.

Amazon is not one to do things by halves. Thousands of developed are currently working on the language processing capabilities of Alexa and other improvements to try and win the battle for voice in the home. So, chief executive’s Jeffrey P. Bezos’s entrance – via a 13-foot robot waving its arms – at the company’s conference on robotics and artificial intelligence should not come as surprise. The company’s plans for even greater dominance in the retail world may do, however.

Amazon has slowly been making a transition from online retail to physical stores with book stores, the fifth of which opened in Chicago last week, with five more in the works. The company has also been open about its ambition to one day open grocery stores, but at the event on Sunday, it also revealed other potential plans to expand its reach in the home sector.

The company is reportedly exploring the option of opening stores dedicated to selling furniture and home appliances – products Amazon say shoppers can be reluctant to purchase without seeing in real life. Possibly the most interesting part of these “confidential” plans is that Amazon is considering using forms of virtual reality or augmented reality (something Amazon has quite heavily invested in) to allow shoppers to see how products would look in their home.

The company’s ambitions also stretch to taking on Apple’s store with electronics shops stocking Amazon devices (such as the Amazon Echo and Dot) and promoting services such as its Prime Video streaming service.

Of course such plans may not see the light of day. Amazon is not one to be discrete about its plans for global domination of both the online and physical retail sphere. Yet the company’s ambitions for its own electronics stores coupled with its recently announced Smart Home Consultation service certainly suggest the retailer fully intends to be the gateway into getting smart devices into more homes.

Source: New York Times

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