Walmart will use Oculus Go headsets to train employees in VR

Donna Miller
September 21, 2018

Walmart clearly believes virtual reality has a bright future in its stores. While the adoption amongst gamers has been slow for VR headsets, the biggest brick and mortar retailer out there, Walmart, is now adopting VR to help it to train new workers.

As TechCrunch reports, the almost 5,000 Walmart stores are being sent Oculus Go headsets.

By the numbers: Next month, the company will begin sending four headsets to every Walmart supercenter and two units to every Neighborhood Market and discount store in the US. In total, that's 17,000 headsets which equates to a $3.4 million hardware investment if Walmart is purchasing the cheaper 32GB Oculus Go model. Now, the cheaper and untethered Oculus Go VR headset is set to be used to train employees in-store. Each Walmart associate will have access to the same training that managers and department managers have at the Academies.

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As the video above shows, Walmart is using VR to help associates experience a situation first hand rather than just reading about it or watching a video of someone else going through the motions. A very interesting tidbit is that Trainor reports that when employees watch others using the VR headset for training, their retention is boosted even when not using the headset.

Walmart said on Wednesday that it is providing Oculus Go virtual reality headsets to all of its U.S. stores as part of a nationwide expansion of a VR-based employee training program.

It plans on putting more than 17,000 headsets in its USA stores by the end of 2018 in order to help train employees in areas like customer service, empathy, new technology and compliance. With the technology training, Walmart is aiming to prepare employees for the wave of in-store technology it's rolling out as part of its overall digital strategy. All the training for those towers was performed with the Oculus Go with no in-person teachers.

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