Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the big-box retail giant, is focusing on the future of VR and AR, along with other emergent technologies, with its newly unveiled tech startup incubator.
According to a Bloomberg Technology report, Wal-Mart is creating the incubator to “identify changes that will reshape the retail experience, including virtual reality, autonomous vehicle and drone delivery and personalized shopping.”
The incubator is simply called “Store No. 8,” a name that Bloomberg says is in reference to a previous Wal-Mart location where the company experimented with new store layouts. Wal-Mart CEO Marc Lore announced the incubator on Monday at ShopTalk, an eCommerce and retail conference in its second year.
According to Wal-Mart, Store No. 8 is focusing on robotics, virtual and augmented reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence, and will be partnering with startups, venture capitalists and academics.
Like many in-house incubators, the goal is to produce new and innovative technologies internally, one that in Wal-Mart’s case will likely focus on the future of its numerous retail locations that, thanks to the power of everything listed above, may change drastically in the years to come.