Shopping with a Sixth Sense

We've all heard of wearable computers and thought the people wearing them looked like absolute geeks. There's no way I'm walking down the street dressed like one of the Borg. What I'm waiting for is the type of interaction depicted in Minority Report or Disclosure. Well, I think MIT Labs is moving one step closer in our quest for portable, intuitive, interaction with computers.

The nine minute presentation from TED below shows a new wearable computer costing less than $350. What's unique about it is the way in which the wearer interacts with the "browser."

At the 5:10 minute mark, there's a demo of a shopper using the "Sixth Sense" to shop in a grocery store. The shopper is able to easily get relevant information about products without much effort. Today you must whip out that smartphone, find the right website, then enter the product's name, SKU, or description. That might be viable when shopping for a printer, but when shopping for 20 things at the grocery store, its much more cumbersome.

While this type of device has a long way to go, its an interesting glimpse into a possible future for shopping.

Comments:

Very cool! What is also exciting about this technology is what the retailer could potentially glean from the shopping patterns of the customer. It could provide immediate insight into what products are working (or not) and why and also, who the customer is and what their preferences are. Retailer’s need to be in a position to immediately react to that – have you seen software apps out there that are positioned to do that? Thanks for the insight David!

Posted by Nancy Seaboldt on March 24, 2009 at 11:05 AM CDT #

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David Dorf, Sr Director Technology Strategy for Oracle Retail, shares news and ideas about the retail industry with a focus on innovation and emerging technologies.


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