Alibaba’s New VR Payment System Lets You Pay With a Nod

Shopping in virtual reality is just a head-tilt away.

China-based e-commerce giant Alibaba demonstrated a new payment service Wednesday that will let you pay for things in virtual reality with just a nod of your head.

“It is very boring to have to take off your goggles for payment,” a technologist working on the project told Reuters. “With this, you will never need to take out your phone.”The new payment system is called VR Pay and is part of Alibaba’s efforts to bring their massive online shopping experience into VR.

So how do you keep your friend who borrowed your VR headset from going on a major shopping spree? User identity can be verified on VR Pay via account logins on connected devices or via voice print technology that recognizes each person’s unique voice.

According to Alibaba, passwords will still be needed for authentication, which you will need to enter with head movements, touch, or by staring at a point on virtual display for longer than 1.5 seconds. So for all you with long complicated passwords, get ready for a serious neck workout.

This isn’t Alibaba’s first foray into VR. In May, Alibaba’s VR lab created an experience that let you buy a virtual boyfriend or girlfriend on the country’s largest online shopping portal Taobao.

In August, Alibaba teased their BUY+ service that the company has been experimenting with for months, which is a virtual shopping environment. Oddly enough, the promo video has a man shopping for women’s lingerie in VR.


VR Pay is expected to be ready for commercial launch by the end of this year.

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder of VRScout.

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