Go shopping from the comfort of your own home with your virtual reality headset

Oculus Rift
Combining the best of both worlds for what can only be described as a dangerous outcome, software developers are looking into using virtual reality headsets to allow eager consumers to go shopping from the comfort of their own homes. For those of us who don’t want to brave the lines and chaos of boutiques and department stores, but still want to browse the offerings with a little more of a realistic feel, this latest application of VR could be the answer to all retail problems. SapientNitro, a marketing agency, teamed up with luxury boutique, The Line, and employed a Samsung Gear headset to pilot the entire experience.

Unlike traditional online shopping, this virtual reality setup allows buyers to actually explore the store, much as they would in a physical setting, and when an object catches the viewer’s attention, a clear description — as well as a price tag — appears atop the product. Adrian Slobin, SapientNitro’s head of innovation, explained the impetus behind the practice, saying, “This was about creating a vibe relevant to what the Apartment is doing. It’s a SoHo-based, heavily curated, high-end brand experience.”

SapientNitro has also previously collaborated with Sixsense to create a digital reality in which visitors could browse for shoes. While no retailers have yet announced the development of a virtual storefront, Slobin is confident that adoption will pick up once consumer headsets hit the market next year.

Sanjay Mistry, who serves as the director of architecture at Unity, which virtual reality developers employ to design experiences, is optimistic about the future of VR shopping, noting, “The adoption will be slow, but this is building the technology for the future.”

He continued, “People are still going to want to physically buy something in a store, but virtual reality is the experience where they can envisage [the item], and use it more as a planning tool than a purchasing tool. Retail does have to change, and virtual reality is a big part of it.”

Emerging Tech

Astro the dog-inspired quadruped robot can sit, lie down, and… learn?

Move over Spot! Researchers from Florida Atlantic University have built a new dog robot called Astro. Thanks to deep learning technology, it promises to be able to learn just like a real dog.
Home Theater

Looking for the best 4K Ultra HD TVs you can buy? Here are five great options

If it's time to upgrade your old 1080p to a new 4K model but you don't know what to look for, fear not, as we're here with a list of the best 4K Ultra HD TVs to help make your buying process as easy as possible.
How-To

What is live view? How to make the most of this feature on your DSLR

Live view makes a DSLR perform more like a mirrorless camera, showing you a live feed straight off the sensor where you can preview your exposure before you take the shot. Here's what you need to know about how to use it.
Mobile

Don't let your pet go missing -- these tracker-app combos help keep them safe

Caring pet guardians now use GPS, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth trackers to track a pet's location and monitor eating, sleeping, activity levels, and overall health and fitness. We've rounded up some of the best to help you keep your pets safe.
Gaming

The best iOS games you can play offline on your iPhone and iPad

Even though we're always glued to our phones, we don't always have access to Wi-Fi or have steady service. Whether you're on a flight, riding the bus, or sitting in a waiting room, you can always play these excellent iOS games.
Health & Fitness

We spit in a ton of test tubes to find the best and most unique DNA tests

DNA tests aren’t just limited to ancestry. You can test for your risks for certain diseases, the best workouts and diets for your health and fitness, and more.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Racing drones and robotic ping pong trainers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Artificial tree promises to suck up as much air pollution as a small forest

Startup Biomitech has developed an artificial tree that it claims is capable of sucking up as much air pollution as 368 real trees. It could be a game-changer for cities with limited free space.
Emerging Tech

Mars 2020 rover now has a rotating array of drill bits for sampling Martian rock

Most the key components in the Mars 2020 rover are installed and ready to go. The next phase of construction was to install the bit carousel, an important mechanism for the gathering and sorting of samples from the Martian surface.
Emerging Tech

NASA selects landing site candidates for OSIRIS-Rex to sample asteroid Bennu

Last year, the OSIRIS-REx craft arrived at asteroid Bennu, from which it will collect a sample from the asteroid to be brought back to Earth. Now, the NASA team has selected four potential sites to choose from for the sampling mission.
Emerging Tech

NASA wants to send two more missions to Mars to collect rock samples

With its Mars 2020 mission, NASA hopes to collect samples from the surface of the planet. The challenge is how to get those samples back to Earth. Now, NASA has revealed its plans for two followup missions to Mars.
Emerging Tech

Eric Geusz: Apple engineer by day, spaceship designer by night

An Apple software engineer by day, artist Eric Geusz spends his nights drawing everyday household objects as amazing, science fiction-style spaceships. Check out the impressive results.
Emerging Tech

The black hole at the center of our galaxy is flaring and no one knows why

At the heart of our galaxy lies a supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*. Normally this giant monster is relatively docile, but recently it's been a hotbed of unexpected activity, rapidly glowing 75 times brighter than normal.
Emerging Tech

SpaceIL’s crashed lander may have sent thousands of tardigrades to the moon

When the SpaceIL craft Beresheet crashed into the moon earlier this year, it left more than just an impact mark. Thousands of micro-animals called tardigrades were along for the ride and may have survived the crash.