Alibaba’s Ant Financial recently demonstrated a payment service developed by its incubator F Lab that allows shoppers to confirm their purchases in virtual reality simply by nodding their heads. Dubbed VR Pay, the new payment system is Alibaba’s latest effort to explore the ecommerce potential of virtual reality. The VR payment system also uses a “voice print” technology for verifying user identity by recognizing each person’s unique voice. Alibaba says VR Pay is set for commercial launch by the end of this year.
Why Brands Should Care
This is not the first time Alibaba has experimented with new forms of digital payments. Last year, it rolled out a facial recognition feature in its Alipay service that allows users to authenticate their payments with a selfie. As VR devices continue to inch closer to mainstream consumer adoption, brands would be smart to keep abreast of the development of virtual ecommerce and start exploring emerging sales channels.