Alibaba trials virtual reality payments for VR malls


The virtual world just got a new payments technology and it’s as easy as nodding your head

Chinese web behemoth and Amazon stalking horse Alibaba is working on bringing its payments clout to the world of Virtual Reality and is developing technology that will let people buy goods in a virtual world by making physical gestures.

The company’s Ant Financial unit is developing a prototype that will let shoppers strolling through a VR mall make purchases with a nod of the head and while they evidently think that’s a good idea just imagine the chaos that that could cause. Nevertheless it’s an interesting area for them to be working on.


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“We are working on a VR driven payment tool to offer a real immersive and complete VR shopping experience,” said their spokesperson and the new development follows hot on the heels of their recently announced Buy+ VR store where shoppers can don a headset and use hand controllers to hold and try on different bags, shoes and clothes but once the Buy+ shoppers have finished their VR shopping experience they still have to remove their headsets and return to the real world to pay for their goods.

That then begs the question that if you buy goods in a virtual world are you paying with a virtual currency and does it really come out of your bank account? We can but wish. Slowly but surely it looks like the world of VR is getting a little more real every day, or is that virtual?

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Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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