VR & AR in Retail - Examples of Use Cases & Solutions

VR experts Spinview follow the mantra 'don't do VR for VR's sake' and focus on providing great business results for retailers looking to transform the consumer experience. Their in-situ environments and cutting-edge eye-tracking research gives deep analysis in a cost-effective way that has already won awards. 

‘Our VR and AR technology uses visual insights to enable brands to understand how their customers make decisions and how to influence them.  We drive results that are both more accurate and cost-effective than real-world research - and we are really only at the start of the journey.’
— Linda Wade, CEO, Spinview

Co-Authors: Kris Kolo, Nathan Pettyjohn, Jordan Bloomingdale, Barry Hoffman, Danny Gordon, John Wright


IKEA application developed by TakeLeap 


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Retail is making shopping and buying easier and more fun again. For some shoppers and products alike, the full product view is really needed. Below are examples of what our Members are up to. 

For the in-store experience, retailers can now leverage InContext Solutions VR simulations that let executives test store campaigns and displays with analysis and feedback from the program. This could be a game changer for high volume stores, potentially making every customer a conversion.  In one example, the results showed improved KPIs: 7% increase in category sales 14% increase in private label sales; 5% increase in units per buyer; Customer ROI: $920K in incremental sales and $275K in category margin for the retailer.

In another InContext example, by referencing the sales and shopper impact data collected from Indicators, the executive team made a speedy decision about which signage strategy would meet their goals. The results showed Units per buyer and sales for key center of store categories increased within the first 12 weeks following the signage campaign implementation. Over time, the client attributed a Y1 topline increase of $1m to this campaign.

On the product side, Aisle411 3D product cloud enables 3D scanning of consumer products tailored with brand information for the full turnkey needs of a product. The 3D Product Cloud system reduces the time of creating 3D models by an average of 65-70%.  Brands can easily give access to their 3D product models to app developer partners, marketing agency partners, and retail partners;  for use in VR/AR commerce apps and websites. 90% of users prefer augmented reality navigation and experiences over 2D mobile app experiences.   

In another example of aislle level AR, Blue Visual Effects, have been working with the Good Neighbor Pharmacy Franchise to create a fully integrated augmented store package. This includes building deeper messages via AR in all in-store signage, having AR pharmacy hosts that direct consumers to specific departments within the store, co-branded Augmented products with shelf talker callouts and instant coupon delivery based on AR actuation.  

On the lighter side, Strata’s Nu Skin’s Lumi Spa app lets users use a facial massager via AR to see how the product would work. The goal of being to engage customers and provide some entertainment for social sharing.

For Audi, ZeroLight undertakes a range of projects using cutting edge display devices and techniques; it’s virtual reality experience allows users to walk around to explore the car, utilising the large "play area" of the HTC Vive. The user digitally interacts with a fully configurable 5 million polygon car with advanced lighting and effects at 90Hz with sub 20ms latency. Such high performance from the hardware is made possible by ZeroLight's highly optimised visualization solution and means a sickness-free experience for the customer.

With UrCommerce AR solution, users can view products in 3D from their mobile device. For example, they are working with the company ColorMods LLC ; using Augmented Reality to revamp their advertising initiatives, both in print and on their website. They are building out 3D models of the computers that they sell so that customers can visualize them on their phones or tablets. The company also creates posters that enable AR to showcase a product; and even allows users who like the product to purchase via in app link.

Rounding out the promising marriage between retail and AR is Auredi, an augmented reality dining platform, which combines both an in-restaurant and social experience for restaurants and patrons to utilize 3D models of dishes on mobile devices. The company has already signed up several Los Angeles restaurants in a private beta, with customers currently exploring and enjoying all the innovative features the platform offers.

See more use case and case studies here 

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California Newspaper, Ledger, Brings its Pages to Life with Augmented Reality Thanks to Strata

Northern California Newspaper, Ledger Dispatch, Brings its Pages to Life

Augmented Reality Technology Aims to Reinvigorate Newspapers' Revenue while Delighting Readers

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JACKSON, Calif., Feb. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In a dramatic move that promises to reinvigorate newspapers' revenues while delighting their readers, a Northern California paper is harnessing augmented reality technology to bring its pages to life.

The groundbreaking Interactive News initiative by the Ledger Dispatch allows readers to use their smartphones to "see" trigger images in the newspaper and access a deeper level of content. After downloading an app, readers simply hold their Android or iPhone device over photos or blocks of text to launch the interactive experience.

"With this tool, readers can use their newspaper as a launch pad to watch movie trailers, read the local crime log, shop for a new car, view the last few minutes of a high school basketball game, or just explore different dimensions of a news story," said Jack Mitchell, publisher of the Ledger Dispatch, a twice-weekly paper based in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

"The possibilities are endless. With just a smartphone, the traditional newspaper becomes a 21st Century interactive experience," said Mitchell.

Unlike virtual reality, augmented reality, or AR, does not require the use of special glasses, computers, or other accessories. Its power lies in the ability to overlay digital imagery on a person's view of the real world, using a smartphone.

"This is a great technological tool for consumers because it's easy to use and works on everyone's smartphone," said John Wright, chief executive officer of Strata, a Utah-based developer of some of the first AR platforms and the exclusive development partner for Interactive News. "It turns the newspaper into a portal for accessing limitless opportunities in a reader's local community and beyond." 

AR is perhaps best known for its 2016 application in the wildly popular Pokémon Go game. But the technology is rapidly gaining steam in mainstream business applications as well, and some analysts predict it will drive a $20-billion market by 2020. Nissan recently launched an AR experience that lets shoppers view cars through a device that delivers guided tours of automobile features by Star Wars droids and Stormtroopers.

With that application, however, consumers need to visit a showroom. With Interactive News, users can enjoy AR while eating oatmeal and reading the paper at their own breakfast table.

The Ledger Dispatch project is believed to be the first to use AR to enhance a newspaper. And while the paper – with a circulation of 6,000 and a staff of 12 – may seem a bit small for a meaningful demonstration project, its owners hope to spread the technology to others in the struggling newspaper industry.

Mitchell said the technology holds tremendous appeal for advertisers, whose steady abandonment of newspapers has sent industry revenues plummeting. With AR, businesses can layer video, audio and other features behind an advertisement in the pages of the paper, enhancing their ability to woo customers.

"We believe newspapers are the glue that holds communities together, and we know they are struggling to remain solvent and relevant in the digital world," said Rich Hoffman, chief executive officer of the Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians, which owns the Ledger Dispatch. "We think the AR experience can help newspapers win back readers, and we want to make this technology accessible to them on a wide scale."

"Readers today are looking for more, and newspapers are trying everything to reinvent themselves," said Adam Dalton, chairman of the Jackson Rancheria Band. "AR could be a game-changer for this industry, and we are all in to make that happen."

On Friday (2/9/18), Mitchell formally launched the AR technology in the pages of the Ledger Dispatch, which covers Amador and Calaveras counties, the heart of California's famed Gold Country. The launch generated an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from readers.

One example: by holding a phone over the acorn symbol on the paper's front-page masthead, readers can hear an audio round-up of news from the day. Another example: by holding a phone over an ad for a local pub, you can hear a tune played by its featured musical act.

"Newspapers are my lifelong passion, and I am very optimistic about where this technology can take us as an industry," Mitchell said. "How optimistic? For the first time in ages, we're hiring."

Mitchell plans to make a formal presentation to the California News Publishers Association later this month, but the technology is available now at

Ledger Dispatch
The Ledger Dispatch is a twice weekly, locally owned and operated, full-service newspaper that strives to innovate on behalf the consumer. Serving Amador and Calaveras Counties in California, the Ledger Dispatch most recently integrated augmented reality into its digital platforms, becoming first newspaper to do so. The Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians purchased the Ledger Dispatch in 2016.

Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians
The Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians is a federally recognized Indian tribe that owns and operates Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort, located in the Sierra foothills town of Jackson, California. A sovereign government, the Rancheria is dedicated to developing projects that not only enhance the tribe's ability to remain self-reliant, but also reflect a commitment to be a good neighbor. Most recently, the Rancheria acquired the Ledger Dispatch newspaper as a part of their continued support of the community.  

Strata (Strata Mixed Reality Inc.) is an award-winning leader in 3D, VR and AR technologies and applications. The Strata AR platform brings the power of augmented reality to non-technical users for markets and industries as varied as newspapers, utilities and retail. "Strata" is a registered trademark of Strata Mixed Reality Inc. Learn more about Strata at

Contact: Doug Elmets
(916) 329-9180