Bureau, New Delhi
The way people buy things has drastically changed. Purchases happen across many channels, beyond walls and locations. Today's commerce is becoming more and more platform agnostic and more personalized than ever ... and thanks to advances in mobile technology, the customer has been empowered to be their own 'point of sale.'
People can and will have higher expectations for how they interact and engage in their digital out of home experiences. They'll want the same convenience they get with their smart appliances or their mobile commerce apps. They'll want to be able to act on impulse, on an emotional whim to make a purchase for themselves or someone they care about. They will seek out the experiences that pay off in the same way their current digital lifestyle does. Immediate gratification at scale - with a personalized touch.
Top emerging tech trends to watch:
Augmented Reality technology that doesn't require you to wear a crazy helmet, goggles or use your mobile phone in an unnatural way. This technology is more scalable than Virtual Reality and doesn't require people to disconnect themselves from physical spaces.At CES this year, one of the standout innovations was a product called Hololamp, a hands-free device that takes a volumetric scan to map a physical space, and then projects interactive AR elements into or onto physical objects or surfaces. It creates the illusion of a hologram by using 3D digital video projections that have been mapped to the actual physical attributes of the surface on which it projects.
Payments: Blockchain combined with AI, and the growing number of devices that are part of the IoT ecosystem could yield new ways to enable payments with various types of connected items - not just through mobile devices. Transaction of data through smart personal objects such as your eyeglasses, sensors in your shoes or jacket would enable the exchange of personal details like clothing or shoe sizes with just a touch.
Advances in Machine learning and AI will continue to lead the way for more customization and personalization of content at scale. At NRF 2017, Google demonstrated its latest product, Google Cloud ML Platform opening the flood gates to anyone looking for neural net-based, scalable machine learning services - making it "easy" for DOOH solution providers or network operators to start building out new functionality for their next-generation CMS. Google's Machine Learning platform will enable companies to access a full library and quickly build out and test features such as natural language processing, speech recognition, image analysis, sentiment analysis and even real-time language translation.
Screenless 3D- Ultrahaptics is a type of haptic feedback technology that uses an array of ultrasound waves to create the feeling of a three-dimensional object in mid-air, basically creating a real-world sense of an object including a response to its physical properties. Think of it as a touchscreen without having to touch anything. The sound waves can create the sensation for 3D buttons, levers and other control surfaces.
This technology will eventually be used to create new types of interaction way beyond image or gesture-based interaction.
Big brands and retailers have already started test and learn trials with Facebook Messenger bots, (more than 1B people have Facebook's Messenger app already installed on their mobile devices) Google home and Alexa - in hopes to learn more about how humans like - or dislike to communicate with technology. One of the pioneers developing Bot solutions specific for use at retail is Banter, a company that's built an entire platform around Bot-based commerce. Use of Bot's for customer service while on-site or in-store is a more cost-effective and scalable approach to human-powered chat interactions.