Skip to Content

Walmart will use VR headsets to train all its US employees

September 20, 2018

By the end of the year, it plans to have more than 17,000 Oculus Go headsets in use to help train workers.

By the numbers: Next month, the company will begin sending four headsets to every Walmart supercenter and two units to every Neighborhood Market and discount store in the US. That doesn’t sounds like many, but Walmart is sending them to 4,700 stores, meaning a pretty big bulk order.

What they will be used for: The headsets will train associates in everything from operating new technology on the shop floor to soft skills like empathy and customer service.The actual teaching content has been designed for the retailer by startup Strivr.

Some background: Walmart has been testing out virtual reality for a while. It’s used the technology in its Walmart Academy training centers and to prepare its employees for Black Friday. In advance of this larger rollout, 10 stores used VR over the summer for training workers on new devices that let customers automatically pick up their orders in a store.

Scaling up: So far, Walmart is a rare success story for VR. The retailer is investing in something virtual reality has struggled with: scale. This deployment of thousands of Oculus Go headsets for training could act as a proof of concept for other big corporations.

This article was first published in our future of work newsletter, Clocking In. You can sign up here.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Here’s how a Twitter engineer says it will break in the coming weeks

One insider says the company’s current staffing isn’t able to sustain the platform.

Technology that lets us “speak” to our dead relatives has arrived. Are we ready?

Digital clones of the people we love could forever change how we grieve.

How to befriend a crow

I watched a bunch of crows on TikTok and now I'm trying to connect with some local birds.

Starlink signals can be reverse-engineered to work like GPS—whether SpaceX likes it or not

Elon said no thanks to using his mega-constellation for navigation. Researchers went ahead anyway.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.