Several months ago, I was extremely excited to learn that I would be among the first 10,000 people to explore Google’s wearable technology, Google Glass. Since I joined the program, I have ‘kept my ear to the ground’ by reading a number of reviews of the gadget, both positive and negative.
Personally, I am a big fan of the technology. I may not wear it in the shower like social media guru Robert Scoble, but I am enamored by Glass and I continue to be wowed (especially when Google releases its monthly updates!).
Although Glass is not yet available to the market, for the limited number of shoppers lucky enough to have one, they can already take advantage of its features while in-store. We’ve listed six of the most useful features that will likely drive wearable technology like Glass into the mainstream spotlight for shopping:
1. Picture and video reminders of products you’re interested in
Shopping is a visual experience – whether you’re on the street and you walk by an outfit you like, or in a store deciding between which sofa you like more. When you get the urge, you’ll take out your smartphone, unlock it, open your camera, and snap a picture to help you remember what you were shopping for (if you didn’t buy it that day). With Glass, just look at the item and say ‘OK glass take a picture’.
2. Live feedback from friends and family
Thanks to social media, consumers place more emphasis than ever on the opinions of friends, relatives, followers and even complete strangers. Glass’ technology allows shoppers to take real-time photos and send directly to friends or share with followers for instant opinions, assisting in shopping decisions.
3. Product searching
Whether at home or in-store, mobile searches on smartphones and tablets have already taken over PC searches. Wearable tech, like Glass, will likely continue to expand the evolution of how we use mobile and stationary devices.
4. Product scanning and price comparisons
Shoppers are already engaging in “showrooming” practices with their smartphones by searching for lower priced products online while in-store. How will Glass change this habit? By making it easier. Shoppers will no longer have to pull out their phone to scan a barcode or search online – they simply have to look at the barcode to pull up online results.
5. Shopping lists
Left your shopping list at home? We’ve all been there. And although there is an array of shopping list smartphone apps, it can be difficult to balance a shopping basket and a smartphone while picking up, selecting and checking items off a list. Again, Glass allows for hands-free list use in-store, but it also makes shopping lists readily available throughout the day so you’ll never forget to add an item to your list again.
6. Smarter retailers
When retailers begin to arm their sales associates with wearable technology like Glass, the impact will be great. Information accessible to the associates without the need to take out a phone or tablet allows for more flexibility and more expedient service.
There is no doubt that Google has a lot of work to do. The current version of Glass will benefit from better battery power, better audio, more voice commands, and of course, more apps. But it’s important to keep in mind that Google (and other competitors that will soon hit the market) has barely crossed the starting line for what will surely be a long run of wearable technologies to aid shoppers and retailers.
What do you think? What are some shopper apps or functions that you could see coming about in the future? Post in the comments below!