Virtual reality technology continues to expand into new markets with a presence in gaming, counseling, business, the military and more. Is the next step with virtual reality to replace megastores with simulated shopping experiences?
According to recent United States Patent and Trademark Office filings from the Walmart corporation, the answer may soon be yes. Two new patents detail a virtual shopping experience that could eliminate the need for trips to physical locations to purchase goods from the major retailer.
The two patents include a plan for a virtual shopping experience where users would don headsets and gloves to explore a simulated Walmart store and complete their shopping trip without leaving home. Customers would experience the process of walking through a store and picking up items for purchase. Instead of placing items in their cart, a fulfillment and distribution center would pick the item and process the order for shipping.
Industry moves toward digital shopping
Walmart’s new venture indicates a familiar shift in the market toward a digital-based shopping experience. Amazon’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market and implementation of stores with no checkout lines helped push the grocery industry toward the current digital trend.
The onset of virtual reality in various industries extends far beyond big-box stores and online retailers. The number of patent applications for virtual reality technology is in the thousands with the tech industry as the obvious major shareholder of these new ventures. Sony, Samsung and Microsoft lead with the most virtual reality-related patents according to the Derwent World Patents Index.
Legal protection is key for intellectual property
The limits of virtual reality technology are seemingly endless as new ventures continually launch in research facilities and think tanks. In order to protect these innovations, each company and business owner must obtain the necessary legal coverage for advances in intellectual property.
To protect your new innovations, contact our skilled intellectual property law firm. Our guidance and proven expertise can provide you and your business the necessary protections to ensure the prosperous future for new and existing inventions.