Shopping, for some, is a tedious chore. The days of wandering aimlessly through store aisles, looking for a certain product or the perfect fit, might be a distant memory soon. Google's recent patent titled 'Systems, devices, and methods for interactive visual displays' (US11816388B2) promises to revolutionize our store visits.
How many times have we found ourselves carrying gadgets such as smartphones and tablets while shopping, making it a cumbersome experience? The constant juggle between the device in hand and the product we want is inconvenient, to say the least. Moreover, wearable gadgets like Google Glass, customized to fit an individual’s head and face, need proper showcasing and marketing. Keeping such devices operational and fully charged in a retail location, especially for potential customers to try on, introduces logistic complexities.
Google's patent addresses these issues head-on. It presents a neat solution: special interactive digital screens in stores that can customize what they show based on the shopper’s preference. These screens can be installed at various heights and distances from the floor or shelves. The interactive displays are designed to accommodate wearable gadgets like Google Glass perfectly.
Imagine entering a store and having the interactive displays guide you to what you're looking for, provide specifications, discounts, and show you how it looks or operates? Interestingly, the patent also provides provisions for screens to be arranged or inserted into slots in the store floor.
Looking at the future, the shopping experience could be transformed. No more grappling with your smartphone, your shopping list instantly reflected on the interactive screens guiding you to what you need. Or visualize wearing a Google Glass and having a tailor-made shopping experience delivered right to your eyes.
Looking at the illustrations provided in the patent, these interactive displays not only limit themselves to displaying plain text or images. They can potentially bring an augmented reality shopping experience, guiding the customer with site-specific information and notifications.
However, it's important to bear in mind, a filed patent doesn't guarantee it will be coming to a store near you soon. Patents provide a concept of what could be, not necessarily what will be.
With no surety of when or if this will hit the market, we can just imagine the possibilities these systems, devices, and methods for interactive visual displays hold for us. As technology continues to bridge the gap between virtual and physical retail, the shopping experience is bound to be more integrated and personalized.