I read a great article in Media Magazine this week that explored how far the world of the customer is moving to their phone. The article features a photo of a street in New York. Overlaid on the photo are icons representing various useful services that might be of interest.
The reader can assume that this is an augmented reality scene where you can hold up your phone and see information overlaid on the image onscreen in real time and in the correct location. Of course, augmented reality is not future-gazing, many people are using it right now.
Have you ever tried Google Sky Maps on your phone? Download the app and try it. Hold your phone at the night sky and the phone screen is an exact match of what you can see up above, except now the planets and stars have names.
What about Worksnug? You can point your phone at the street and it details great places you can go to work – like cafes. It even tells you details like how many power outlets there are and how good the coffee is.
The Media article blended what we already know about augmented reality with social media. Imagine pointing your phone at the street and seeing where your Facebook friends are located, which company is in each building and how many they are hiring based on their LinkedIn information, where the nearest bus stop is located, what voucher you can get if you walk into that shop across the street…
The possibilities are endless – and all changing consumer behaviour immeasurably, but with tools we can already see coming together right now, not science fiction.
But with all this talk of the future, what I would really love is to be able to hold up my phone in an unfamiliar supermarket and for it to guide me to the milk. Imagine the minutes saved. That’s what progress is all about.
Photo by Northeast Kansas library system licensed under Creative Commons