Walmart’s Augmented Reality App is Perfectly Low-Key
Finally, an example of AR that’s all sustenance, no fluff
Aside from a couple of cool apps — IKEA Place comes to mind — and a handful of interesting games, examples of Augmented Reality have been a little underwhelming, with many of the apps released to date becoming pointless after the initial “whoa, how cool is this?!” reaction wears off.
In fairness, this comes with the territory when new technology and capabilities are being adopted. Many companies are making apps to showcase what can be done, not necessarily what should be done.
The problem is that most examples are all fluff, no sustenance.
Step forward Me@Walmart
On June 3rd, Walmart announced its All-in-One associate app, called Me@Walmart. It launches at 3,500 stores this week and will roll out to other Walmart locations throughout the year. According to the press release, the app “provides an exclusive destination” that includes new features designed to “simplify daily tasks, serve our customers and plan for life outside of work.” Walmart also claims the concept is an industry-first.
The company had previously tested some of these features on shared employee devices and was so impressed with the results that it’s going all-in, promising to offer more than 740,000 associates a new Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro smartphone to use free of charge with the app pre-loaded. The staff will be entitled to use the phone outside of work, and Walmart has promised users will maintain their freedoms — the company will not be snooping on their data or tracking employees to make sure they’re at home when they call in sick.
Me@Walmart is designed by Walmart’s in-house team and incorporates various technologies, including machine learning and augmented reality, to tackle complex problems employees face during work. Some of the app’s features include;
- shift scheduling and pay monitoring
- clocking in and out via the tap of a button
- instant employee communication, similar to using walkie-talkies, via a ‘push to talk’ function
- a voice-activated personal assistant called Ask Sam, who can answer…