Alibaba to Launch Taobao Buy, A New Mixed Reality Shopping Experience

Taobao, Alibaba‘s e-commerce subsidiary, will launch a brand new product this year called Taobao Buy (Taobao Maia). It is incorporated with mixed reality (MR) technology to bring consumers a futuristic shopping experience.

Alibaba said on August 8 that the company will unveil the product at the Creativity Festival this year in Hangzhou, the city where the company’s headquarters is located. The cooperation with Microsoft’s Hololens MR glasses this time round aims to provide a surreal and futuristic shopping experience for consumers.

Microsoft Hololens.
Microsoft Hololens. Image Source: Microsoft.

The company also disclosed that it will be building a 300-square-meter “futuristic shopping district” along the West Lake in Hangzhou during the annual consumer festival in September. Consumers will be able to get a taste of a highly anticipated sci-fi lifestyle, made possible by the coupling of the real world with computer algorithms.

Taobao Buy will give the expression of “what you see is what you get” a whole new meaning. Items are displayed as 3D holograms when users enter the world of Taobao Buy by putting on the glasses and see the products in MR. Consumers will have access to all relevant information from product ratings and comments to specifications—all is shown next to the item displayed in the app.

mixed reality (MR) technology
mixed reality (MR) technology

Taobao Buy is also an endeavor to establish a new relationship between consumers and products. By incorporating holographic technology, items will be able to act on their own and interact with consumers, making the browsing experience more exciting and refreshing.

According to Taobao’s marketing department, the product, content and interactive experiences on Taobao will transfer from the 2D to the 3D world in the future. Consumers will be able to interact with these products by making various gestures and movements to give commands. Not only would this make shopping more fun and exciting, it also opens up a whole new world of e-commerce possibilities.