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Alibaba Advances VR Effort AT MWC 2018

Teams with iStaging for smartphone app integration into Tmall platform

Alibaba is looking to quickly roll out easy-to-create VR showrooms for its retailers with physical stores.

In an announcement at Mobile World Congress, Alibaba said it will integrate enterprise technology provider iStaging’s VR Maker into its Tmall e-commerce platform so Tmall sellers can digitize their physical stores in VR. Tmall sellers can shoot true 360-degree VR video, in up to 8K resolution, on their smartphones and then upload and sync the content on Tmall with search results based on location and distance of their physical shops.

iStaging has provided VR capabilities to the real estate and interior design markets and sees retailing as its next frontier, along with the travel business. iStaging said it is the first VR capture solution integrated into an e-commerce ecosystem.

An iStaging spokesperson commented: “What’s new is the scale at which Alibaba is trying to roll this out — tens of thousands of stores are expected to be turned in VR in the short term.”

Alibaba rival Walmart recently bought VR startup Spatialand.

Related: Q&A: Alibaba’s Zhang Kuo Sheds Light On U.S. B-To-B Strategy

iStaging also offers AR solutions to support e-commerce and retail industries, enabling them to digitize real objects using AR at an affordable price, the company said.

Here is an example of how VR Maker works: