What if you could try on the new-in clothes from H&M while waiting for the train to work?
What if you could find a book in Kinokuniya without queuing for half a day to speak with a customer service officer?
What if you never have to wait to checkout your items or bills?
It is without a doubt that Singaporeans are willing to brave the crowds and queues for almost anything and everything under the sun. (Think free cone day, limited edition minions from McDonalds, Abercrombie & Fitch’s opening day). But the world of shopping and queues might just be revolutionised in the near future and here’s what we’ve put together:
Imagine stepping into a brand new outlet of Gucci/Chanel/Insert your favourite brand, and immediately you are greeted by name and the whole team of staff knows you hate pink and last purchased 3 identical navy blue tops at their flagship store. As you walk over to the new watches, Watch X captivates you and even before you think of inquiring what kind of leather the strap is made from, everything you ever wanted to know about the watch pops up on a screen near you.
Next, you give the watch a try and immediately fall truly, madly and deeply in love with it. You whip out your phone and with one swipe on a companion app, you’ve paid for it.
Yes, it is now yours.
In a second.
Without touching any paper, cash, card, signing pens or buttons.
A week later as you are sitting in the train station waiting for the train to go meet the love of your life, a notification comes on your phone that the navy blue pants you’ve tried on but didn’t purchase last week is selling fast, it’ll be gone soon if you don’t take action!
With 30 minutes extra to go before your date, you take a detour down to the shop and manage to score the very last piece of your size! Beautiful.
How exactly does all of this work?
Bluetooth Low Energy technology + Eye-tracking technology + Wearable technology + Mobile payments
The new Bluetooth low energy (BLE) technology allows seamless communication with smart devices and also pick up their location. The wearable technology can come in the form of brand key charms, bracelets or even car keys embedded with a chip that holds your personal data. And so, the staff is already notified of your proximity as you approach, they can then view all your details to understand and serve you better, even if you’ve never been to that outlet before.
Within the shop, eye-tracking technology senses which objects your gaze lingers upon; this not only allows for in store activities like the information display, but it could possibly log the data and send it to your smartphone through BLE. Stores could tap on it by sending reminders to shoppers and completing sales they might have otherwise lost.
Mobile payments are expected to be the next big thing with numerous developers such as Paypal, TabbedOut and Estimote in the game. Essentially, all items and bills are credited to the customer’s app account synced with their bank details. Checkout can simply be done with a button, a swipe or even fingerprint authentication technology for greater security. Take a look at Paypal Beacon:
Alternatively, we have our bets on all seeing glasses, inspired by Google and Atheer, which can pick up and process information from the environment or project information out.
Atheer forsees the possibilities of exercise, life size projection, processing payments – but that is perhaps only the tip of the iceberg. Let’s take another imaginary trip:
You’re walking into your favourite store once again and welcome messages, promotions and discounts are projected on your glasses. Walking over to the rack of watches, Watch Z’s information is displayed on your glasses as you look at it. Purchase can simply be made with options on screen. Trying on a product could be as simple as looking at your wrist and see a 3D projection of the watch or have the glasses project a life size version of yourself to see how that vintage A-line skirt flatters your waist. There’s no need for a phone or additional screens to support the experience, everything is in the glasses itself.
With endless possibilities, how do you envision the future of shopping and payments? Drop us some of your thoughts below!