XPO Logistics announced this morning that it will be adding augmented reality to its Ship XPO platform, giving end customers the opportunity to visualize how items such as sofas, beds and appliances, will look inside their home.
Ship XPO is a consumer self-service platform. The new augmented reality component will allow customers to “see” their purchases before buying, helping them make a more informed decision and hopefully reducing returns, which can be a costly function for carriers and shippers. According to Brad Parrish, vice president of FedEx (NYSE: FDX) Supply Chain, reverse logistics costs in the industry $642.6B a year.
“Augmented reality is another innovation that our retail and e-commerce customers can offer to consumers, providing more control over the shopping experience,” said Troy Cooper, president of XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO). “The technology creates a virtual image of how an item will look in a given room, dramatically decreasing the likelihood of returns. Augmented reality enhances the efficiency of the entire last mile process, reducing time inside the home and the risk of product damage.”
XPO said the technology will be available nationally later this year.
Augmented reality is the second major announcement this year for Ship XPO. Earlier, the company announced that voice integration technology had been added, allowing customers to track their purchases through Amazon’s Echo or Google’s Home.
Augmented reality allows computer-generated images of images to be superimposed over a real-world environment, often with use of a smartphone’s or tablet’s video capability.