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

Robot janitors will soon be scrubbing the floors at your local Walmart

Hundreds of robot janitors will soon be working at Walmart stores across the U.S. The company says the autonomous floor scrubbers will free its human staff from monotonous tasks so they can spend more time helping customers.
Computing

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.
Computing

Calibrate your display to get it looking just the way you like it

Want to see images the way they're intended to be seen? Here is our quick guide on how to calibrate your monitor using your operating system or another tool, to make what's on the screen look as good as it can.
Mobile

Protect your privacy with the best VPNs for the iPhone or iPad

If you’re not using a VPN to protect your iPhone or iPad, then you could be putting yourself at risk. Here, we take a look at the best VPNs for the iPhone and discuss what to look for in your quest for privacy and security.
Emerging Tech

This exotic new material somehow gets thicker when stretched

Scientists at the U.K.’s University of Leeds have discovered a synthetic material which actually gets thicker the more it’s stretched. Here are some of the things it could be used for.
Emerging Tech

Early-detection system for wildfires could save many states from big burns

When it comes to dealing with the growing problem of raging wildfires, a new wireless smart sensor system could help spot burgeoning blazes before they rage out of control. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk to unveil tunnel elevators and autonomous pods on December 18

We'll soon learn if Elon Musk's high-speed tunnel plan is a serious effort at ending traffic jams or little more than a fancy theme park ride. A big unveiling event is coming on December 18, a week later than originally planned.
Outdoors

Light up the night! Here are the five best headlamps money can buy

Headlamps make all the difference when camping or walking the dog at night, especially when you're in need of both hands. From Black Diamond and Petzl to Coast here are some of the best headlamps on the market.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Hear the sounds of wind on Mars from InSight’s latest audio recording

NASA's InSight craft has captured the sound of the wind blowing on the surface of Mars. The audio file was picked up by the air pressure sensor and the seismometer which detected vibrations from the 10 to 15 mph winds in the area.