Myer has built the world’s first virtual reality department store and it's giving away free VR headsets to get customers plugged in. There are 15,000 "shoptical" headsets up for grabs. Here's how to snag your own.
Last night, Myer launched a virtual reality department store in conjunction with eBay that purports to recreate real-world shopping from the comfort of your home. You may be wondering why you'd want to do this. Aside from the "cool" cyberpunk factor, the main benefit is the ability to see and interact with 3D products; something that isn't possible on Myer's regular eBay portal.
“It’s been important to us that we don’t just replicate the ecommerce experience in a virtual environment," Myer CEO Richard Umbers said in a statement. "We are taking the best elements of traditional retail and expanding on them to improve browsing, selection, personalization and efficiency."
The virtual store contains over 12,500 products that can be browsed and purchased using eBay Sight Search, a virtual UI that allows you to make selections with your eyes. For example, if a shopper sees a product they like, they can direct their focus on it to make it float towards them. (Note: Currently only 100 products are available to view in 3D.)
The same method applies when you want to see textual information such as product specifications and shipping details: just stare and you will receive.
The accompanying app connects to eBay's Application Programming Interface which allows Myer’s product range, pricing and stock information to be updated in real time. Here’s a video of what the store looks like:
To entice customers into the VR fold, Myers and eBay are offering customers free "shoptical" headsets to get them up and running. These follow the same design principle as Google Cardboard and will work with a variety of smartphones.
Over the next fortnight, eBay and Myer will be giving away 1000 headsets per day. Even if you're not interested in virtual shopping, this is a neat way to get your hands on a free VR headset that you can use for games and other 3D applications. The freebie portal opens at 7am so be sure to visit this page bright and early.