Archive for July 2nd, 2012
Remember “Minority Report?” That scene where Tom Cruise was walking by the billboard, and the billboard “recognized” him through some kind of biometrics (I think it was an eye scan?) and then started to target ads to him?
Well, IBM is doing something really cool and not even like that, but I had to make sure I got your attention so you’d keep reading.
In our case, IBM Research has created a new augmented reality application that gives in-store shoppers instant product details and promotions, all in the palm of their hand.
Here’s how it works: Upon entering a store, consumers download the app on their smart phone or tablet, register, and create a profile of features that matter to them — from product ingredients that could trigger an allergy, to whether packaging is biodegradable.
When they then point their device’s video camera at merchandise, the app will instantly recognize products and, via augmented reality technology, overlay digital details over the images — such as ingredients, price, reviews and discounts that apply that day.
Talk about an educated, empowered consumer!
And, if consumers opt in (their choice!), information from their social networks can be integrated into the information stream. For instance, if a friend had reviewed or made a comment about a product they’re looking at, they’ll see it.
Using IBM’s prototype app, shoppers looking for breakfast cereal could specify they want a brand low in sugar, highly rated by consumers – and on sale.
As a shopper pans the mobile device’s camera across a shelf of cereal boxes, the augmented shopping app reveals which cereals meet the criteria and provides a same-day coupon to entice consumers to make a purchase.
The app, being developed by IBM’s Research lab in Haifa, Israel, addresses the fundamental gap between the wealth of readily available product details on the Web that in-store shoppers don’t have access to — despite the fact that in-store shopping accounts for more than 92% of the retail volume, according to Forrester Research.
Retailers will be able to use the app to build in-store traffic by connecting with individual consumers, turning marketing into a welcomed service that is not intrusive.
In turn, the app can make it easier for retailers to understand consumer likes and dislikes and offer related products in other aisles, such as bananas or milk, to accompany a cereal purchase. It could also make loyalty points and digital coupons become more convenient for shoppers, freeing them from the hassle of searching for discounts.
Too bad the app won’t be ready in time for net week’s MobileBeat 2012, which is being held at the Palace Hotel in downtown San Fran next week (July 10-11).
AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher, Mark Pincus (CEO, Zynga), Michael Bayle (SVP and GM, ESPN Mobile) and a host of other mobile luminaries will be coming together to talk mobile applications, design/UI, and ecosystem, among other mobile-relevant topics.
Conference sub-themes include Tablets, IT: Consumerization, Infrastructure/Cloud: Scale Is Beauty, Monetization, Retail: Wait, Why Are They Coming? and Designing Distribution.
You can register for the event here.
For those of you in the northeast who endured those crazy storms, especially in and around the D.C. area, you have my utmost sympathies, particularly with the oppressive heat moving in as so many people were without power.
Someone who discovered some new power over the weekend was Tiger Woods, who won his own tournament, the AT&T Congressional, as he sidled by Bo Van Pelt in a tight finish cemented on the 18th and final hole.
Woods explained to folks in his post-round press conference, “I remember there was a time when people were saying I could never win again. That was, I think, what, six months ago?”
In the period since, Woods has won three times in his last seven starts, and with Sunday’s victory, passed Jack Nicklaus with 74 PGA Tour victories.
Sam Snead’s 82 career victories looms off in the distance as a next milestone.
In sporting news that most Americans were probably not conscious of unless they accidentally slipped into the ESPN channel zone, Spain (better known in Spanish parts as “La Roja,” the “Red”) routed Italy in the Euro 2012 Championship, 4-0.
La Roja’s David Silva had a brilliant header in the 14′, and Jordia Alba then took a brilliant through-ball from Xavi to go 2-0 at 41′ to make it 2-0 before the first half ended.
For much of the second half, Italy played a man down due to injury, leaving them woefully exposed and a victim to two more goals by the hungry La Roja soccer beast.
Though I’m not sure it would have mattered had Italy 11 players the full game.
Spain’s triangular passing and relentless ball movement, particularly down in Italy’s corner of the field, was just overwhelming, and it’s not for nothing pundits are raising the question whether or not this Spanish national team is the “best ever.”
Considering they’ve won three major championships in a row — the Euro in 2008 and 2012, and the World Cup in 2010 — it’s certainly a point worthy of discussion.
As for me, I’m not going to lie, I was rooting for Espana the entire tournament, so I was elated to see them win at the beautiful game once again, and congratulate all my amigos in Spain who I know appreciate all the good news they can muster at the moment!
Fear not, futbol fans, if you’re worried about going into soccer withdrawal, help from the five rings are on their way when the first Olympic Match between Great Britain and New Zealand kicks off on July 25th at the London Olympic Games, and the English Premiere League premieres Saturday, August 18th with the Wigan Athletics and the Chelsea “Blues” (minus Didier Drogba!)