Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has devised a new virtual reality payment system. Shoppers wearing VR headsets can confirm transactions simply by nodding their head or holding a lingering gaze over a product icon.
Developed for Buy+ – a virtual version of Alibaba’s multi-brand e-commerce platform Taobao, accessible via HTC’s VR headsets – the new payment update trades on convenience and the power of immersion. As consumers needn’t take off the goggles to buy, the brand experience isn’t interrupted.
Aside from using head movements to add products to the shopping cart, users can also purchase by tapping the headset’s motion-responsive controllers. If using the ‘stare-to-buy’ option, the gaze must be held over an Add to Cart button for longer than 1.5 seconds. Customers can then proceed with the checkout process.
When it comes to authentication, shoppers can use the aforementioned nods, stares or taps to enter their details on an in-VR keypad of letter icons. Alternatively, and potentially much faster, users can verify their account logins on connected devices or via voice ID technology.
Powered by the marketplace provider’s online payment service Alipay (which has more than 450 million daily users), the payment method is expected to launch by the end of 2016. See also Ebay Launches VR E-Tail with Myer Department Store.