October 18, 2010
There is this thing called augmented reality. It is basically a way for us to connect the information online with the offline world. My guess is that we will not see the implications of augmented reality for another couple of years. Yes, the trials and errors might start next week, but the adaptation amongst main stream consumers are still years away. I think such technologies as GPS and “human” rather than data driven web will still prevail in earning the trust of the intersection between reality and virtual worlds for the coming five to ten years.
However, as data is becoming more and more accessible and as the technologies supporting a mobile and intersecting web of things, is becoming increasingly affordable, I suspect shoppers as well as producers will find an advantage in moving their marketplace towards a more information rich version than today’s.
1. Production line app
Some of the first augmented reality apps we will see for commercial use will probably be in connection with some existing data source online. We are already binding products to social media, reviews and other such user generated content and data sets. This will enable producers and retailers to show rich data information about their products when a person aims a screen connected to the Internet towards the products information tab. They will be able to see if colorance E345234321 contains gluten or if there might be a cheaper, yet exact replica on another shelf in the store.
I think the earliest usage of this technique will be about CSR related information. Production lines and how a specific product has reached the shelf where it is currently being displayed to you as a customer. You will be able to compare two or several different products and see how they individually impact the environment.
As we are too stressed out to search whilst in the store, we should just be able to point and find out. Producers with products connected to the web will find themselves with an advantage over those who has not connected their products to the web.
2. Red alert product
Basically my idea about the red alert product was first born when I couldn’t find a product in a store that I was looking for. The idea is quite simple. A user types in a product in an app. The app shows a location on the map where you can buy this product. If you arrive at a mall, the GPS indicates your closest way to the store. Once in the store, GPS has little use. However, if you make the correct path to the product – isle sign, shelf, and price marker in front of the product glow red, the customer will find it right away.
Now why would you want to do this? Well, once the customer has picked up the product he or she wants, you can suggest other, complimentary products in yellow. You can also suggest a recipe that contains the product and show the location of the other products in the store. Also, you can push offers, if the person has opted in for this.
I could punch in a recipe for a specific dish and get suggestions for the week. And so on. With augmented reality, we would save time doing it this way. For all of us who don’t want to hang out in grocery stores for hours trying to find out where to find all the things to get for dinner, please create this app.
3. Information rich screens
Why the heck would anyone use augmented reality on a screen? Well, let’s say we move beyond logins. Let’s say we want some things of our websites, our digital display ads outdoors and our indoor TV-ads only be visible for certain individuals. This could be created through augmented reality.
Pick up your phone, point it towards the green area of the TV-screen that displays the offer whilst the ad is running. Take a photo, and show it in the store when you visit next time. Watch a series of TV-ads and collect the photos for a special in store offer.
Better yet. Why should you even have to go to the store at all. When the TV-ad runs, you should be able to point your cellphone towards the screen and order right away, billed through your operator bill. Connecting the mobile to your wallet. This is perhaps the easiest to implement as it only requires you to connect with the screen you’re looking at for the moment. Shouldn’t be that expensive or difficult to do.
Guess that’s it for now. I am sitting here at JFK, and I wanted to spend some time. We’ll see how much blogging I will do when I get back to Stockholm. Think it is time for some neat tutorials. Looking through new releases in Magento e-commerce system that I might want to share some video tutorials on.
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