Scientists at IBM Research – Haifa have developed an AR mobile app that attempts to bring the benefits of online shopping into traditional retail stores.
How does it work?
The app captures images via your smart phone camera and uses advanced image processing technologies to identify a product or group of products. Information is then displayed above the product images and these are ranked based on criteria such as price and nutritional value.
Who’s it for?
Consumers could benefit from being more informed shoppers. If Cheerios and Raisin Bran Crunch both sound like healthier choices for breakfast (let’s leave aside any value judgments on that claim), and you’re trying to limit your sugar intake, you might want to know that a one-cup serving of Cheerios has 100 calories and 1 gram of sugar, while a one-cup serving of Raisin Bran Crunch has 190 calories and 20 grams of sugar (source: a Calorie Counter). Cue the hyperglycemia…
Also, the over-65 crowd can get information on any loyalty rewards or incentives that may apply. No more lines at the checkout while your grandma searches the bottom of her purse for a 25 cent off coupon.
Marketers will get reams of data on shopper preferences and can then cater to consumers on a more personal level. This could turn into a value added service that builds loyalty and provides opportunities to market new products.
But will people use it?
We’re not so sure. The novelty will make it fun… the first time. Devotees of the latest diet craze might appreciate it… while on their diet. But the Mom with two kids in tow, begging for Oreos while they toss the broccoli on the floor?
According to the article “Augmented reality makes shopping more personal” 58 percent of consumers want to get in-store product information, and 19 percent of consumers are already browsing their mobile devices while in-store.
Faced with a new brand and multiple prices, it could help a careful buyer – especially someone with a food allergy or health condition – make a more-informed decision.
What do you think? Would you use it?