You’ve gotta love retail stores. I couldn’t imagine a world without one. They make it easier for us to connect to products we want to buy. When is the last time you went to you neighbor to ask for a screwdriver? Or called up a friend to borrow their shampoo? I know these maybe silly questions, but the reality is, modern people living in modern culture have the privilege of buying what they want without having to rely on their neighbor, per se. So what am I getting at?
There are times when we visit a retail shop and not find the product we want or thought we needed. Sometimes, we even spend a awkward amount of time trying to find our desired product, before asking one of the team members in the shop. I even find myself at times, comparing prices and specs of product A with product B to see if it’s worth buying one over the other. But that involves reading fine print, crunching numbers in your head and that’s even if they have the product in store. I know what you’re thinking. You can just visit their website and find out all that information.
The truth is, if your trying to decide whether you want to invest your money between a Samsung T.V. and a Vizio T.V., you want to see the product in person. You want to know what the quality of the picture is, if it’s a smart T.V. and if the T.V. stand will fit on your entertainment system. Merely looking at a mounted T.V., positioned next to others, in a brightly lit atmosphere, will not tell you if the T.V. is right for you. I know I want to see what the other picture settings are on the television, or how easy it is to navigate the menu screen. Even though I use televisions as a example, this goes with any retailed product.
I’m sure you’ve heard of augmented reality(AR). If not, it’s simply three-dimensional virtual images, that is displayed on your physical environment. So how can AR make shopping at retail even more convenient. If it’s such a hassle at times to make a decision in store, why not just compare on their website and ship the product to you? Well, because we sometimes want our product now. What I am propsing here, is a enhanced way to make buying decisions in person. It would be nice to a have a AR app that would be able to dim the lights in retail store to see if a television does have great picture. Or view through different settings on the television without actually changing the settings on the T.V. display itself.
Let me put it to you in another way. You have your powerful smartphone that can do a lot great things Why not have a app specialized for retail shopping, that can search through a database and make the comparison, as well as let us manipulate the object. For new parents, buying everything you need for your new child can be a nightmare or at least daunting. For instance buying a car seat. You could use your mind’s eye, calculating the information displayed on the box, to make a judgment. There may even be a display for the car seat. But what if you can, pull a detailed digital replica out of the box, and have the specs displayed around the replica? Being able to tap on one part of the car seat to see the specifications for that component can make a world difference.
Seriously, being able to tap on different parts of the car seat to see their independent specifications can make a world difference! I had to say that twice. Because being able to tap on different parts of a television and their components independent specifications can make a world difference. Being able to have two products side by side, with the differences in the product digitally highlighted will make a world difference. You couldn’t tell me that that sort of augmented reality experience wouldn’t make retail shopping a lot funner (I know it’s not a real word) and a lot more convenient. But that’s just my opinion.
We want the future. We want convenience. We want to become more than we are. But we fear change. We fear that shifting from gear 3 to gear 4 could leave us crashed and stranded in a ditch. Reality is, as humans we will adjust to change, whether positive or negative, but we will always, instinctively fight for our advancement as a human race. Augmented reality is just one tool, one component and one more step in the direction we have to take, to become more efficient and more aware of the world we live in today.