Walmart stocks its stores with VR training for its employees

Walmart associate uses new VR training system with Oculus GO

Walmart is taking the next step into the world of virtual reality — and the company is bringing its employees along on the ride. The multinational retailer will begin rolling out Oculus Go headsets in mass to all of its 4,500-plus retail locations in the United States. Aimed at assisting associates in learning new skills, Walmart notes that the technology will help the company boost employee retention and confidence during training experiences.

Walmart first began dabbling with VR experiences last year, when it incorporated the emerging technology into 30 Walmart Academies. According to Walmart’s Senior Director of U.S. Academies, adding VR to its training routine has boosted both confidence and retention, while also increasing general test scores by up to 15 percent. The company claims that even associates who watch the training are benefiting from increased retention.

Oculus Go has created an affordable and portable offering for companies looking to integrate the solution into their workflows. Walmart noted that it expects to have more than 17,000 Oculus Go headsets in stores by the end of the year. Larger Supercenter locations will receive four headsets for the project, while smaller neighborhood markets and discount stores will receive two to get started.

The new venture is possible thanks to the team at STRIVR, a company that helps organizations train their people through VR. “The power of VR is real, and when offered as a cornerstone of learning and development, it can truly transform the way an organization trains its people,” STRIVR CEO Derek Belch said in a statement.

Walmart plans to focus on three main areas with its VR training programs: new technologies, customer service, and compliance. Recently, the company launched its new PickUp Tower system, allowing customers to pick up pre-ordered goods they ordered online via a robotic storage system. Ten stores used the VR solution to train their associates to work with the new technology before the PickUp Towers were installed.

Using VR as a training solution for corporations can help immerse associates in memorable experiences while cutting down on the number of individuals needed to teach the new material. Walmart joins the ranks of companies stepping into a new dimension of reality, and with a noticeable increase in knowledge retention and test scores, it isn’t likely to be the last.

Cars

Volvo plans to face the future without sacrificing its identity

Volvo is embarking on an ambitious push to fill its lineup with electric and hybrid cars, as well as an infotainment partnership with Google. Volvo Americas CEO Anders Gustafsson explains how the Swedish automaker plans to pull that off.
Gaming

Huawei thinks its Mate 20 X is better than the Nintendo Switch

Huawei positioned its Mate 20 X, a gaming-centric smartphone, as a Nintendo Switch killer, calling it "the best portable gaming machine." The Mate 20 X has better design specs than the Switch, but it also comes with a steep price.
Smart Home

Simplisafe steps outside the smart home with its Video Doorbell Pro

SimpiSafe is pushing into the smart home market by introducing a new high-tech video doorbell that includes 1080p HD monitoring and a dual-sensor motion trigger that combines a body heat detector and a motion detector.
Smart Home

Nest gets more colorful with three new options for its smart thermostat

Nest Parent company Alphabet announced this week that its Nest Learning Thermostat will soon be made available in three new, fancier colors: Mirror black, brass, and polished steel.
Gaming

The best HTC Vive games available today

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Product Review

With the cord-free Quest, Oculus finally makes high-quality VR easy

Oculus announced that its Project Santa Cruz virtual reality headset will ship next year as the Oculus Quest, and we got to try out several new game titles on the Quest. Find out our impressions of VR without wires.
Virtual Reality

The Oculus Quest’s competitor isn’t Rift or Vive. It’s the Nintendo Switch

While Oculus is optimistic that its standalone Quest VR headset will deliver a quality experience, the headset was designed on a mobile chipset. That means its less of a Rift replacement and more like the VR equivalent of Nintendo’s…
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Virtual Reality

The Oculus Quest and Go both let you play without a PC, but which is better?

The mid-range of virtual reality hardware is by far the most competitive, with Oculus VR now offering two excellent products to those with more limited budgets. We pitted the Oculus Quest vs. Oculus Go, to see which is best.
Computing

The Oculus Quest is the new kid on the block, but can it beat the Rift?

The Oculus Rift has been available for two year, and the Oculus Quest will be available near the start of the next, but which one is best for you? That depends on the power of your gaming PC.
Gaming

Still confused about how the Oculus Quest works? Here's the scoop

Oculus' Quest looks to offer PC-quality VR without the need for a PC. From revamped Oculus Touch controls to its sleek design, here's everything we know about the next-gen headset.
Gaming

From horror to first-person shooters, these are the best games in VR

Whether you own a PlayStation VR, and Oculus Rift, or an HTC Vive, you have a ton of different choices when it comes to games. These are 15 of the best virtual reality games available right now.
Emerging Tech

No longer a gaming novelty, VR gets acceptance letter from Arizona State

Students at Arizona State University are getting an unexpected added extra for their tuition money this semester: A virtual reality headset for their course. Here's how it's going to be used.
Social Media

3D Facebook photos jump out of the newsfeed, no glasses needed

You're not seeing things -- that photo in your Facebook newsfeed is 3D. Launching today, 3D Facebook Photos use the depth maps from dual-lens smartphones to add dimension to an image as you move your phone.