IBM introduces shopping for the future

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July 3, 2012
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People, Technology

The shopaholic and tech nerd in me is excited about IBM’s latest plan – a new shopping app that makes your life easier. I love shopping just like any other girl however when faced with decisions, labels, etc., it can be a bit overwhelming. I could walk away with something I don’t like and then there’s the hassle of having to return it.

IBM’s Augmented Reality app will be something you’ll keep handy on your smartphone with all your shopping preferences. Before going out to shop, you’ll spend some time building a complete profile with the things that matter most to you about your shopping experience – food allergies, green/earth friendly stores, diet conscious food, sales/coupons, labels, reviews, ad infinitum. The possibilities are endless. The app will allow you to pan over a selection of items, say for example you’re shopping for a certain cereal.  If you’re looking for a high fiber breakfast cereal, the app will locate what you’re looking for, scan the label, let you know if it triggers your food allergies, send you a few reviews, and also alert of any coupons or discounts. That alone saves you a few precious Google minutes in the grocery aisle.

This app has possibilities for all types of individuals – a mother with kids who might have finicky taste or food preferences or a Mom who prefers natural baby food vs commercial food products. There’s also the raw/vegan food group who might be cautious about what they put into their bodies so an app that reads labels and warns them could be extremely useful. However, this extends beyond the grocery store. What if you’re shopping for your next set of wheels? Imagine panning this app over a row of cars and being able to pull up all the details you need for your perfect car? Or imagine now having to provide service for that car and pick a mechanic, a set of tires, etc.

There are several advantages and IBM plans to collect the data from these experiences and give feedback to the merchants so they can be more conscious of their shopper’s wants, needs, and desires which in turn should make a better experience for you. If all goes well, IBM plans to release the finalized version at the end of this year.

What do you think of this kind of shopping experience? Would an app like this be useful to you? What other features would you add to it?

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