"The World is Ripe for Interactive Shopping"
Window shopping could change completely in the near future. Goods displayed in the shopping window could be explored by gesturing and then bought, due to an invention of the Fraunhofer-Heinrich-Hertz Institute. Mr. Paul Chojecki from the Fraunhofer Institute talked to futurezone about interactive shopping windows.
After a long working day Sandra S. is looking for some relaxation by going shopping but all the shops are already closed. Her favourite handbag shop offers a solution - Interactive shopping windows. Sandra points to a certain bag in the shopping window. This bag is highlighted on a screen and Sandra sees information about the size, price and other details like colour or weight. Sandra likes what she sees and immediately buys the bag using her Smart phone.
This may sound like Science Fiction at the moment but could soon become reality. The Fraunhofer Hertz Institute has invented a solution for such an “interactive shopping experience” that works without touching a screen. Therefore, the shopping windows and fingers are kept clean and the system remains protected. “Our solution is market-ready”, Paul Chojecki (Head of the project for touchless interaction) tells futurezone. At the moment the institute is searching for partners.
Currently, the system is used in an Adidas shop in Paris. Shoppers can virtually try on new shoes in a mirror. In the Bavarian state library you can navigate through medieval books by making gestures. “Actual” shopping in not yet possible mainly because mobile payment systems are missing in many parts of Europe.
“The world is ready for the interactive shopping experience and mobile payment systems like NFC. In the Asian area you can find good examples of implementation of parts of such systems. In Europe these solutions have to be put together and implemented also from now on”, says Mr.Chojecki. “There is a huge demand for it and we are getting very positive feedback. Our system offers benefits to users which make the investment worthwhile.
Licence fees and cost for hardware
Investments for shop owners in this particular case would be licence fees to the Fraunhofer Institute. Additionally, you need two small cameras which capture the eyes, hands and face of clients. Furthermore, you need a display and the system is compatible with all current screens. If a mobile payment system should be included you have to install a terminal. “NFC payment is not a part of our research. We implement interfaces to existing systems and count on partnership with companies which already offer NFC solutions”, Chojecki explains. Over the last months we have engaged in successful networking with several partners who offer different systems for mobile payment.
How does it function?
But how does this touchless shopping system work? The eyes, hands and face of clients are captured with four cameras which are used as sensors. Besides the technology, the Fraunhofer Institute offers the implementation of a kinetic control system. After the implementation, image processing software recognises gestures of a hand or a finger pointing at a certain button, as well as turning to the next page to view another product. What works with Kindest at the moment could work with other sensors in the future. “Our department has been doing research and development into touchless control systems for 12 years. We continuously incorporate each new sensor into our portfolio", Chojecki explains. “We run test sensors on different fields of possible usage and consult our clients as to which would best suit their certain contextual needs.”
„Stopper Information helps Business“
„I will not give a recommendation as to which types of shops could benefit most from this solution”, said Mr. Chojecki. “The different possibilities are almost limitless”, so the expert believes. However, the solution is also interesting for the field of e-commerce. You could report the number of window shoppers, people who interact and buyers. Furthermore, you could find out which products are liked most in each shopping window. This could help shop owners to better support their customers’ needs.
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