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.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Get Schwifty!

    I feel better now about VR/AR now that Wal-Mart is on the case… heh

  • David

    Walmart is exactly the type of corporate culture to create an AR world akin to that nightmarish hyper-reality video. Walmart has some positive aspects, but I sadly hope they don’t do that much in VR/AR. They just aren’t a virtual world that anyone really wants to go to — and the only reason people go in real life is because they’re trying to minimize the costs of basic living so we can one day afford enough money to leave into a virtual world that we would prefer to the real one.