Regarding predictions: Mobile phones becoming powerful tool when shopping

It looks like the predicted adaptation of augmented reality by major stores could happen sooner than expected. The New York Times has a piece today titled Mobile Phones Become Essential Tool to Holiday Shopping. In it they discuss consumer use of phones in to shop online and offline; scanning barcodes, comparing prices and, upon finding lower ones, buying online instead of in the store.

Aware of the power of mobile phones, some offline retailers are using the technology to fight back.

If someone standing in one store scans a product with ShopSavvy, for example, a retailer down the street could deliver the shopper a coupon for the same item. A major retailer is already doing that in a few test cities, including Seattle, said Alexander Muse, co-founder of Big in Japan, the start-up that created ShopSavvy.

Other applications, including Yowza, use the GPS location information in cellphones to send shoppers coupons for stores within walking distance of where they’re standing.

“This empowers consumers to make a smart decision,” Mr. Muse said. “Already, retailers are starting to figure out, ‘I need to be in this game.’

It’s especially intriguing that GPS is an increasing part of the mainstream deal as its a key part of AR. One down.

Read the full article on the New York Times (you may need an account).

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