5G, with its high throughput and ability to support applications that feed on large amounts of data, should help businesses in every sector. In retail, the potential benefits include augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) tools that let consumers experience a data-enhanced world or immersive digital simulations.
AR and VR applications open up new opportunities for retailers to transform the customer experience.
AR-equipped high-definition screens could replace the traditional dressing room, reducing time spent waiting in lines and freeing up valuable retail space. Smart shelves could let customers scan items or QR codes to get detailed product information or tutorials. VR could let customers test sporting equipment without touching a physical product, a useful feature in a time of socially distanced experiences.
AR and VR could also be helpful for customers buying furniture—apps could let customers see what chairs, sofas and such would look like in their living rooms without having to buy them and haul them home.
Individual AR and VR capabilities might be nice to have now, but as customer expectations for personalized retail experiences grow and augmented experiences become the norm, deploying and securing the technology behind AR and VR could become more important.