Mastercard Looks To AR As It Thinks Of Retail’s Future

Banking firm teams with ODG and Qualcomm for augmented reality retail app.

Money makes the world go round, or so the saying goes. It’s not a statement that many people are necessarily happy with, but there is an underlying truth to it. Unfortunate as that may be. Over the last six months in particular on VRFocus we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the amount of new stories revolving around the subject of money and not just from the financial sector.

Both the advertising and retail sectors have been eying virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), In the last few months of the year alone we’ve discussed new advertising platforms between Advir and Yahoo!, Nokia and Quello, OmniVirt revealed monetisation platforms for both VR and 360 degree video. We’ve had holographic retail assistants, whilst in China one company is integrating both immersive technologies into the shopping experience. Now it is banking platform Mastercard that are looking to get in on the act.

Mastercard already partnered with Swarovski for a VR shopping trip which we reported on last month, however this time it’s an AR shopping experience that are involved in and one which will also tie-in its secure payments methods. It is a collaboration between Mastercard, ODG (the developers of the experience) and Qualcomm on this occasion. With Qualcomm providing the technology required for iris recognition which will be used to verify purchases.  The idea is that you can see representations of the product before shoppers make a purchase with additional ways to view the product not possible in a regular retail store. Payment can then be made through the same app via the iris recognition.

“At Mastercard, we are seeing major shifts in how commerce is conducted, as people lead increasingly connected, digital lifestyles.” Said Executive Vice President of Digital Partnerships at Mastercard, Sherri Haymond. “As the physical and digital worlds blend together, we are focused on developing solutions that provide merchants with the ability to accept payments across all technology platforms possible—in-store, in-app, online, and in AR and VR—to help drive how people will experience shopping and payments in the future.”

“Qualcomm Technologies’ iris authentication and extended reality technologies for Snapdragon 835 are designed to support a future generation of contextually aware commerce experiences using secure, augmented reality. We are delighted to work with Mastercard and SAKS Fifth Avenue to showcase new AR experiences on ODG’s sleek smart glassed based on our Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform. Our commitment to innovation has the potential to deliver more personalized in-store experiences in the future.” Commented Neeraj Bhatia, Director, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.”

“ODG is delighted to work with Mastercard and Qualcomm Technologies, fellow leaders in their respective fields, to offer a look into the future of shopping and purchasing habits.” Added Founder and CEO of ODG Ralph Osterhout. “This solution showcases the transformative nature of augmented reality in the retail space and highlights the power and performance of ODG smartglasses and the unparalleled potential for headworn AR to change the way we see and experience the world.”

Mastercard’s rival VISA revealed a in-VR payment app earlier this year, also partnering with Zeality and Bank of America on VR content creation. In June last year the company’s European branch unveiled their own AR payment technology through
partnership with Blippar.

VRFocus will bring you more news on AR developments soon.



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