Extraordinary Experience #3: Contextual Technology

Technology infused shopping experience: Give me reason, give me time.

Some game changing technologies are entering retail experience design. If we are mindful of consumer behaviors, the way we shop could feel entirely different in a few years. You may have heard of QR Codes, possibly even pulled out your smart phone and scanned a code, out of curiosity. Then thought, interesting but who would have a reason to do that again?

But, perhaps we simplify and enter Google into the equation with the new Google mobile app allowing you to photograph almost anything and get a search result. This is shown below with Double Cross vodka bottle (a brand in which Capsule is intimately familiar).




















Now, let's walk a few months down the path of innovation. Entering from an interesting angle is Near Field Communication. Just place your phone next to something with an RFID chip and interact with the digital side of the brand. Or, if you take this concept a few steps more, purchase the item with your phone and exit the store. It may just change how we define a "store."

So, the extraordinary moment for this week is as follows. It hasn't happened yet, but here's how and when I sense it will occur. October, 2011 walking into a "store," absent someone to help me, I pull out my phone to scan the item. To my surprise a new button appears, "purchase now." The moment is here, purchase made. The smile is wide and my experience extraordinary.

Or the alternative happens.

The security guard (unaware of this new technology) stops me ten steps outside the store and pins me to the hood of the nearest BMW. Then I'll be facing a new (less than) extraordinary experience, and one I likely will not be writing about soon.

Technology is not innovation in itself, but it does spark some interesting change in our collective behaviors. The design of retail experiences is changing, which impacts anyone who makes a purchase and certainly all of us in the brand, design and creative communities.

This is one technology I am ready to have in my life, absent the over zealous security guard.

Aaron Keller
Managing Principal, Capsule
akeller@capsule.us

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