“Hi Renee. The tank top you bought last time is on sale. You should check them out,” says the holographic image of a perky sales associate as she walks into the store.
As she tries one on, another “sales assistant” appears in the corner of the fitting room’s full-length mirror. “We got new jeans that would look great with that top (a picture of the item appears). Just tap the image and I’ll show you how they’ll look.”
Welcome to the world of “Augmented Reality,” the convergence of personal shopping, robotics, smartphone and information technology that makes the barcode look like a cave drawing. But this isn’t the stuff of science fiction. Augmented reality of one kind or another is being tested everywhere from Abu Dhabi to London to Tokyo. It has the potential to reshape the in-store experience and even make online shopping, as we know it, obsolete. [Read more...]