Amazon wants to revolutionize the way customers buy things from its website by introducing a completely new VR shopping experience, if several new job listings are any indication of the firm's ambitions. The company is looking for a Senior Software Development Manager in Virtual Reality to lead the development of its future VR shopping solutions and a VR Tech Lead who will be in charge of solving VR-specific problems and developing innovative new features based on this emerging technology.
Since experience with VR headsets and platforms including the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, and the Daydream View is considered an advantage to landing one of the positions, it seems that the Seattle-based tech giant is looking to build a VR shopping experience to be used by customers on a wide variety of VR devices. Virtual reality could certainly offer customers the chance to observe items up close but it remains to be seen whether Amazon really wants to see shoppers put their VR headsets on before pressing the buy button.
Google and Gap's DressingRoom app is a product that Amazon may be looking to emulate in the future. The app uses augmented reality (AR) to let shoppers “try out” clothes without having to go out into a brick-and-mortar store. In the same fashion, Amazon’s future VR web store might allow users to test out products before ordering them. In theory, the new shopping experience could easily boost costumers’ satisfaction levels, while lowering the rate of product returns. While Amazon has been known to shy away from making any definitive statements about its future VR plans, its ambitions of entering the VR game have been hinted at multiple times in the past. For example, Amazon supports VR game developers by allowing them to create VR games with its Lumberyard cross-platform engine. Last year, the tech giant hired former Tribeca Film Festival director Genna Terranova to join its virtual reality division. Amazon also previously hinted at its intentions of building a VR experience within its Amazon Video app. While the company certainly has the potential to become a major player in the VR industry, it remains to be seen whether it succeeds in doing so.