Alibaba has lifted the lid on a new payment service that will allow consumers shopping using virtual reality to pay by simply nodding their heads.
The new technology, dubbed VR Pay, forms part of the Chinese etail titan’s drive to incorporate innovation into online shopping.
It will allow people wearing virtual reality headsets to browse virtual shopping malls to check out without having to remove their goggles.
The identity of users would be verified on VR Pay either via account logins on connected devices such as mobile phones, or through voice print technology, which recognises every shopper’s voice.
But passwords will also still be required, which users can enter without removing their goggles via movements or by staring at points on a virtual display for longer than 1.5 seconds.
Alibaba is expected to roll out the service by the end of the year.
It comes a year after Alibaba introduced facial recognition technology for Alipay mobile payments – a service that was advertised as “pay with a selfie”.
Lin Feng, who is in charge of Ant Financial’s F Lab that has been developing the payment service, said: “It is very boring to have to take off your goggles for payment. With this, you will never need to take out your phone.”
Ant Financial, which operates China’s largest online payments service Alipay, demonstrated the tech in Shenzhen, China, last Wednesday.
The company insisted the payment technology can make virtual reality headsets “a tool rather than just a toy”.