Often, an in-store experience does not help customers visualize how their products will fit and look in their homes. One of the biggest ways AR will transform retail is by offering customers the opportunity to see and experience products and corresponding services inside their homes before the purchase. In addition, AR combined with other technologies gives hints and suggestions where to place an object and helps to explain a product or gives instructions on how the product should be installed by a craftsman in a house (e.g. using building information model (BIM) data). In such environments, shopping and payment contribute to the experience if they are well embedded and set into context.
Now, imagine the following situation: A user wants to install a Wifi hotspot at home but needs to create a new socket in the wall for the internet cable and needs to find the best spot for an optimal signal coverage. The user has no clue where the optimal spot is nor where the holes should be drilled to get access to the power cables but to avoid underlying pipes. HoloLens guides the user through the process, gives suggestions where to place the hotspot for optimal coverage and visualizes existing but hidden cables and pipes. The application suggests a placement, creates an installation report for an electrician and schedules an appointment from within the app. Finally, the user can confirm the transaction by using his credit card.
What do you think? Do you like this future shopping experience?
If you have the chance, go and visit the Spielfeld Digital Hub in Berlin and try it yourself.