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A Look Ahead at 2014 - Augmented Reality (Part 2)

The calendar may have just rolled over to October, but 2014 will be here before you know it. Here's a look ahead at 2014 for retailers.

A Look Ahead at 2014 - Augmented Reality (Part 2)

Magic Mirror

Uniqlo’s Magic Mirror has to be one of the coolest advancements in retail this year, and 2014 is the year others will join in on this nifty technology. For those of you who don’t know, the Magic Mirror (developed by Sharp) is a device that acts like any other mirror in a store...until you start playing with the tablet that is attached to it. What happens next is what makes it “magic.” Say you are trying on a blue dress shirt. You like the way it fits, but wonder what a green one would look like. Simply hit the green shirt on the tablet, and the blue shirt you are wearing turns green right before your eyes. Just take a look at this:

Much like the advancements in online shopping we covered last week, this plays right into the fact that shoppers are looking for a personalized yet efficient shopping experience. Instead of trying on multiple items, which takes too much time by today’s standards, shoppers can try on just one item and see what it looks like in various colors. Now this is a great idea for retailers like Uniqlo who have a wide range of colors in their clothing, but the technology can be adapted for others as well. Jewelry, formal wear, shoes, and other specialty stores could do wonders with mirrors like this.

Mobile Apps

Augmented reality mobile apps hold so many possibilities that it’s difficult to fit them all into one small post, but I will try my best. First up are the geo-location apps that can perform some of the capabilities mentioned in the Google Glass discussion from last week. These apps allow users to scan a storefront or an aisle with their phone’s camera to determine if the item they want is in stock, if it's on sale, and where it is in the store. Apps like this play right into the theme of efficient shoppers. Second, are the apps that turn traditional media into living, interactive things. The user simply takes a photo of a magazine page, and the app can recognize what is on the page. If it is a food item it may show recipes; for clothes they can show similar items and where to buy; they can even make print ads a little more interesting. Apps like this are currently big for media providers who want to create the "second screen" experience, but there is a lot of potential for retailers to jump on board in 2014.

Another type of app provides you the ability to see what something will look like in your home before you buy it. A good example of this is the app Lowe's has developed (which is also on display in their current TV spot). In the ad a user points their phone at their home to see what a new front door would look. Similar apps are currently being used by home furnishing stores, but the overall use of these apps is small. I know this section seemed a little all over the place, but that's because there is so much going on in the mobile app segment, and there is limitless room to grow. 2014 will be the year that augmented reality mobile apps flourish, and we see many retailers taking large strides forward with regards to apps.

Read Post 1 Here, Read Post 3 Here, Read Post 4 Here, Read Post 5 Here


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