I’ve been reporting on ideas relating to augmented reality and the interactive shopping experience ever since seeing a TED presentation last year. And the issue even made The Unseen’s Top 10 list of stories for 2009.
Tap on the augmented reality tag and you can call up all of the posts.
The capability that intrigues me most is an IBM product called Presence. As the article notes,
“Shoppers who sign up can be detected as soon as they set foot in a store. That enables Presence to offer real-time mobile coupons. And tracking shoppers’ spending habits and browsing time in various departments can help the system figure out who might be moved to suddenly buy a discounted item.
Presence can also make product recommendations. If a shopper was buying cake mix, Presence might suggest buying the store’s private-label frosting and sprinkles, too.”
It would appear, as I suspected, that this will be the year when the interactive capabilities available to shoppers will begin to explode. But this will not be a no-risk opportunity for either shoppers or retailers.
For shoppers of course the risk is loss of privacy. For the bricks and mortar retailers, the risk is that the greater competition, and choice, brought by this instant access to information on mobile devices, will lead the consumer to other retailers or online for their purchases.
Nonetheless it appears that most retailers are very excited. As Norma Kamali says,
“To say that I’m excited is putting it mildly. I’ve been in this business since the ’60s and I have to just tell you, nothing — nothing at all — has been as powerful a change in the psyche of the way we do everything as this technology.”
I guess we’ll see, and soon.
The image above is by Michael Falco for The New York Times