SparkOptimus News Highlights – Week 8

At SparkOptimus, we try to highlight the most important news and background stories in digital, e-commerce and retail. Here is our selection of last week’s news:

This week was all about virtual reality. It was already evident back in March ’14 that Facebook was pushing heavily for virtual reality with the acquisition of Oculus Rift. After a year of silence, Facebook reported this week that Facebook VR is on its way, where users will be able to share their current environment with other users. Other competitors are also getting up to speed: River Island partnered with Google to offer virtual fashion through Google’s Cardboard, Microsoft Hololens is said to be used to design your own Nike shoes, and Apple has been granted a patent on Wednesday  for virtual reality goggles.

It’s not surprising that Apple is a bit late to the party, as Tim Cook is not that excited: “We always thought [a head-worn device] would flop, and, you know, so far it has” – referring to Google Glass’s program slow-down in January. Despite Cook’s aversion, Apple has now secured a backup to join the competition when virtual reality does take off.

According to many, it will be big – and it could go fast. Virtual reality will be part of the high tech stores of the future. As Japanese business executive Yasuhiro Fukushima stated: “Instead of buying bananas in a grocery store, you could go pick them off a tree in a virtual jungle”. But don’t expect it to start with fruit. It will start with shoes.