How virtual and augmented reality are changing the way you shop

Published: Monday, September 24, 2018 @ 6:14 PM

Vince Kilian, Marxent product development lead, uses a virtual reality headset. Virtual and augmented reality are being integrated into the shopping experience at many retailers, such as Macy's.
Vince Kilian, Marxent product development lead, uses a virtual reality headset. Virtual and augmented reality are being integrated into the shopping experience at many retailers, such as Macy's.

See what new curtains, a new refrigerator or a new couch look like in your own home before you buy them with virtual or augmented reality applications created by a company based in the Miami Valley.

Marxent is working with big name retailers, like Macy’s, to give customers a new shopping experience. 

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With a virtual reality headset over his eyes, Marxent’s lead for product development, Vince Kilian, points around the room, changing out furniture. 

“Swap that out for a blue couch. Change the rug color,” he said. 

Virtual and augmented reality are not the future of shopping, they are in stores right now. 

The Marxent-created virtual reality showroom is being used now in Macy’s stores, said Kilian. 

“It empowers the consumer to feel better,” said Kilian. “That what they are purchasing is going to be the thing they will have forever. We aren’t just building the confidence, but we are allowing you to step into that space and see it.” 

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Shoppers can fully immerse themselves in virtual reality using a headset that allows them to look around in a virtual space or they can use a phone or iPad for AR. 

“Augmented reality actually takes your camera feed and enhances it by placing that 3D content into your space,” said Kilian. 

Marxent has also created a deck design tool for deck builder, AZEK.

It’s only the beginning, according to Kilian. VR can put big retailers in more convenient spaces and allow them to offer a full product line virtually. 

“You are going to be able to miniaturize it into these smaller footprint retail stores,” Kilian said. 

Shopper Liz Albrink, of Kettering, said she is eager to try the new tech. 
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“I would try it, probably the headset,” she said. “You would get more of a feeling of actually seeing what it would look like.” 

The virtual reality showroom is currently being used in about 60 Macy’s location and will expand to more locations next year, said Kilian.