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Virtual reality payment - it’s all in your head

19 October 2016

Alibaba, one of China’s largest technology companies, recently demonstrated VR Pay, a payment service designed to allow virtual reality shoppers to pay for things simply by nodding their head. The new payment system allows consumers to pay for products in virtual reality shops and malls without the need to remove their virtual reality headsets. Consumers are identified by voice recognition or account logins on connected devices and authenticate with a password which may also be inputted using head movements. The service is expected to be ready for commercial launch by the end of this year.

The retail sector is increasingly embracing the opportunities presented by the technological developments in augmented and virtual reality. It will be interesting to see how VR commerce providers address legal requirements applicable to online transactions in this context without impacting user experience (for example, providers in Europe are required to ensure that consumers explicitly acknowledge that they are undertaking an obligation to pay when they place an online order).

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