Augmented reality may be a big part of the future of shopping. Mastercard, Osterhout Design Group, and Qualcomm have created a prototype retail experience that incorporates augmented reality glasses, iris authentication, and seamless mobile payments.
The exhibit is meant to get companies and consumers excited about the potential of AR to reshape the way we shop.
The tech showcase will be displayed with Saks Fifth Avenue clothing at the Money2020 event in Las Vegas from October 23 to 25. The exhibit is meant to show off the full shopping experience, from browsing inventory to making secure payments.
The demo uses photorealistic augmented reality, enabling the shopper to look at clothing on the racks and view digital details, such as the price. While looking at a physical item, you can view digital details on the display of your glasses. Mastercard’s Masterpass will authenticate the shopper, using the Qualcomm iris scan tech, which scans your eye to identify you. The shopper then selects a card from their Masterpass-enabled wallet and completes the purchase by selecting the Masterpass button on the screen. Items can be taken home from the store or shipped, depending on availability.
“At Mastercard, we are seeing major shifts in how commerce is conducted, as people lead increasingly connected, digital lifestyles,” said Sherri Haymond, executive vice president of digital partnerships at Mastercard, in a statement. “As the physical and digital worlds blend together, we are focused on developing solutions that provide merchants with the ability to accept payments across all technology platforms possible — in-store, in-app, online, and in AR and VR — to help drive how people will experience shopping and payments in the future.”
Mastercard, ODG, and Qualcomm Technologies developed the prototype as a proof of concept to help retailers find new ways of enhancing the in-store shopping experience and generating incremental sales by sharing relevant content and information to the shopper while they are shopping.
The demo uses Masterpass, the digital payment service from Mastercard, and Identity Check Mobile, which enables users making purchases to authenticate through physical traits such as fingerprints and facial and voice recognition software.
It also uses ODG’s expertise and its extra-wide-field-of-view R-9 smartglasses with enhanced iris-tracking cameras. And it uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform running the Snapdragon XR SDK and iris authentication technology with liveliness detection for a superior authentication experience.
With this system, shoppers can visualize a full outfit, access additional clothing in the online inventory, and pay for the items. This means retailers can stock fewer items in the store and move to a boutique showroom approach. It also dovetails with the trend of shoppers buying whole outfits, rather than individual items. And 77 percent of shoppers already use a mobile device while shopping in a store to research availability and pricing, according to a study by Salsify.
Nima Shams, vice president of headworn at San Francisco-based ODG, said in an interview with VentureBeat that the tech could be on the market by 2020.
“You can interact with the digital content while shopping,” he said. “If you like an outfit, you can put it in the digital shopping cart.”
He added, “Within the next couple of years, glasses and other headworn devices will become more revolutionary. Stores will have the potential to create a VIP experience for their best customers.”