Saturday, July 27, 2013

How "Holostores" and "Intelligent Shelves" Could Transform the Way We Shop

By Andria Cheng

Imagine buying a watch at home online using a hologram 3D display that allows you to “try” it on. Or imagine having a nut allergy, going to the grocery store, and having which products to avoid highlighted.
Technical innovation and falling costs mean holograms will likely be used by retailers in the next decade to personalize the shopping experience and create a virtual environment, said chip giant Intel’s futurist Brian David Johnson in an interview.
Johnson said there’s already proof the new technology can be cheap enough for popular use.  Last month, MIT researchers released their findings in the journal Naturethat showed how to build an optical chip that cost only about $10 and can produce color holographic-video displays.
Retailers may also be able to rethink their prized physical shelf space as the technology would allow them to digitally display current products or sale items without the need for an actual shelf, Johnson said.
In addition to “holostores,” he also sees “intelligent shelves” that could feature eye-catching displays to help push new products, sell soon-to-expire items or automatically highlight things like wines that would go well with the salmon you just bought.
He also sees smart clothes with bio-sensors that could track the wearer’s blood pressure, heart rate — even sleep patterns — and allow stores to engage you whenever you are near them. 

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