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Alibaba Wants to Bring Virtual Reality Into E-Commerce

Alibaba Wants to Bring Virtual Reality Into E-Commerce

2016-03-18 14:37

The Chinese e-commerce giant wants to use virtual reality to give its customers a more immersive online shopping experience.

Alibaba, which claims to have 400 million users across its services, announced on Thursday that it has established a new Virtual Reality (VR) research lab, dubbed GnomeMagic Lab.

According to the tech site TechCrunch GnomeMagic Lab will work with Alibabas e-commerce businesses to integrating VR into the shopping experience. It will also work closely with other units and affiliates such as Alibabas online video arm Youku Tudou and Alibaba Pictures.

Building a Large Gallery of 3D Images

The company now plans to build the largest ever product gallery of three-dimensional images for shoppers. The lab has already created VR visuals for hundreds of products, and a standardization tool allowing merchants to swiftly generate 3D models of their products is to be developed.

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In the long run the Hangzhou-based company plans to use virtual reality to provide an even more immersive shopping experience.

– VR could enable customers to shop virtually on New York's Fifth Avenue from the comfort of their own home, said former Facebook engineer Zhao Haiping, who is on Alibaba's GnomeMagic Lab team, in a press release.

Jimmy Andersson

Senior editor

Freelance journalist who have gone from covering sports to online retailing. Been writing about e-commerce for four years.

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