Dyson opens virtual reality store

Dyson has announced the launch of a virtual reality store where customers can test the company’s technology from their homes using a VR headset.

The British tech retailer described the move as the next chapter in its “rapidly-expanding” direct-to-consumer retail approach.

‘Dyson Demo VR’, which the company claims is the first virtual store of its kind, draws on many of the same visualisation and simulation technologies that the business’ engineers use to prototype, test, and develop new products and software in the laboratory.

The store will be paired with live streamed events on Dyson’s websites and 1:1 video demonstrations hosted by Dyson experts.

Dyson said that these virtual experiences would compliment its 318 existing physical Dyson Demo stores worldwide.

30 of these brick-and-mortar stores have opened in city centres during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a further 23 planned for 2022.

Phase one of the virtual store will include product demonstrations, including trials of its Dyson Supersonic hair dryer, Corrale straightener, Airwrap styler, and the Dyson V15 Detect cordless vacuum.

Customers will also be able to take a look inside each machine to understand more about how the technology works through visual animations and interviews with Dyson engineers.

"As engineers we are concerned with improving things, and that includes how people understand our products,” said James Dyson, founder of Dyson. “We've been harnessing powerful virtual reality technologies to engineer new products in our laboratories for many years, now we are applying those same technologies to re-invent how people explore our products.”

Dyson added: “Our customers increasingly want to buy directly from us, which makes sense, since we created the technologies we're best placed to look after them. We're also trying new ways to explain our technologies through our hair salons, testing zones in-store, online live streams and 1:1 live video."

The company said in the future it plans to include a virtual shopping experience where consumers can speak with a Dyson Expert from their home.

"Dyson Demo VR means that we can now bring our technologies to life for our customers in ways that were previously beyond imagination,” said Sean Newmarch, Dyson e-commerce director. “Using the same technologies and tools used within our laboratories, we can better explain how Dyson machines work and why they make a difference.

“All of this can be done using our actual design data. We can show people a virtual product operating in a virtual room but using the actual product software – it doesn’t get much more realistic than that."

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