Walgreens is taking augmented reality shopping to a whole new level with the help of aisle411 and Google's Project Tango. The indoor mapping technology makes it possible to locate shoppers within centimeters of their location, helping guide them to items they're searching for and gamifying the in-store shopping experience.
Project Tango was unveiled at Google's I/O Developer Conference on June 25. The tech makes 3D mapping possible for any smartphone or tablet by taking advantage of the cameras and infrared depth sensors most devices have these days.
Indoor retail mapping company aisle411 uses those capabilities to create an immersive AR experience for shoppers using Project Tango devices. Their phone or tablet can lead them straight to whatever product they're searching for and offer "pop out" deals as they walk down aisles. Passing through certain aisles can even earn shoppers loyalty points, adding to the video game comparison.
"We are thrilled to be working with Google's Project Tango team to continue deploying mobile technologies that enhance the in-store shopping experience for shoppers," said Nathan Pettyjohn, aisle411 CEO. "Today's shoppers are engaged with their mobile devices while in store. They are smart and digitally savvy and in this highly competitive retail ecosystem, it's critical for retailers that their shoppers have the right tools to keep them engaged in the shopping experience. This new application is a fun way to shop and is sure to engage anyone using it."
Offering loyalty points for going to certain places obviously opens up new opportunities for retailers to ensure shoppers see offers the store wants to promote, and it isn't hard to imagine Google Glass integrating seamlessly with similar technology in the future.
Walgreens has announced it will pilot the new program in some stores, but more retailers are sure to join in as the potential for the technology becomes apparent. The video below shows what the augmented experience is like for shoppers in a Walgreens store.
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