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Alibaba’s Taobao launches 3D-capable app for use on Apple’s Vision Pro headset



Alibaba’s Taobao launches 3D-capable app for use on Apple’s Vision Pro headset

The app was rolled out last Friday for use on the US$3,499 mixed-reality headset, which the US tech giant released in February in the United States, the only market where the wearable device is currently available. Apple chief executive Tim Cook has said that the Vision Pro is expected to be available in China this year.
Some mainland Vision Pro users, who were able to buy the headset in the US, shared their experiences of using Taobao’s new 3D-capable app on Chinese social media, giving positive feedback on the domestic Alibaba e-commerce platform’s updated product display capabilities. Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.

The app gives users a greater sense of what some Taobao merchandise, including consumer electronics, home appliances and furniture, would look like in real life, according to the online feedback.

A man wearing his Vision Pro mixed-reality headset arrives before the opening of a new Apple Store in Shanghai on March 21, 2024. Photo: Agence France-Presse
An app user browsing a DJI drone, for example, sees the device flying with its propellers spinning on the Vision Pro interface. Users can virtually move the drone’s 3D image via hand gestures and check the detailed information on every side or angle of the device.
“The light effect of the goods can be adjusted in real time according to the lighting in the room,” Bilibili blogger Zhong Wenze said in his video about the new Taobao 3D shopping app. Zhong suggested there was room for improvement because the measurement of virtual goods, as seen on the app, was “a little inaccurate” from their actual physical size.

Taobao’s new 3D-ready shopping app is still in the testing stage, according to a report on Wednesday by Chinese media The app’s final version will be available when Apple officially releases the Vision Pro on the mainland.

Taobao’s 3D-capable shopping app for the Vision Pro headset enables users to make side-by-side comparisons of furniture in a virtual space. Photo: Weibo
In February, Alibaba’s workplace collaboration platform DingTalk launched a native app for the Vision Pro headset, enabling users to send messages and hold video meetings in a 3D virtual environment. Special features on the Vision Pro version of DingTalk include options to display multiple windows and draw on the screen using hand gestures.
DingTalk was among hundreds of apps and mobile games that became available on Apple’s visionOS App Store when the mixed-reality headset was released in the US on February 2.
Those initiatives follow Alibaba chief executive Eddie Wu Yongming’s pledge last December to sharpen the group’s strategic focus on two main themes – “users first” and “artificial intelligence-driven” – amid increased competition in its industry.
A number of major international companies, however, remain on the fence on whether to update their apps for Vision Pro users. Netflix, Spotify and Google have declined to modify their apps specifically for Apple’s headset.
Alibaba Group Holding’s DingTalk provides a native app designed for users of Apple’s Vision Pro headset. Photo: Handout
At the US release of the Vision Pro in February, The Walt Disney Co partnered with Apple to offer Disney+ subscribers thousands of television shows and films for streaming on the mixed-reality headset.
Many adverts for such rentals in Beijing, Shanghai, Xian in central Shaanxi province and Nanjing in eastern Jiangsu province, could be found weeks after the Vision Pro’s US release, according to a February 26 report by the Post.
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