Lot of news coming out of National Retail Federation (NRF) 97th Annual Convention & Expo which is taking place in New York. While there are many interesting topics to share with you all, I wanted to point out at Immersive Retailing technology that IBM showcased. According to this press release:
At NRF, IBM is demonstrating future innovations which could help retailers create unique consumer experiences. Through the use of 3-D technology, virtual worlds and some imagination, IBM is showing how retailing is moving beyond the walls of the store into the hands of consumers. For example, new "Immersive Retailing" technologies which immerse consumers into an experience are one example of how retailers could augment their strategies to attract and interact with customers in ways which build loyalty.
One of the "Immersive Retailing" demonstrations IBM shared with customers is the IBM Multi-Sensory Experience. Through the use of 3-D glasses, participants are treated to a fashion show from Europe complete with music and smells. For example, as a model walks down the runway her perfume will be noticeably in the air. Also, when she holds out the very expensive leather purse viewers will get a 3-D view of it you all will be able to smell the fine leather.
IBM treated customers to another "Immersive Retailing" demonstration called the IBM Cave. Meant to complement a multi-channel retailing experience, this demonstration brings the user into a virtual reality experience using a 3-D virtual world and stereoscopic goggles. These goggles react with the head movement of the user and create 360 degree view of a virtual reality room. IBM uses the technology as part of a scenario which has a consumer redesigning a room in his house into an entertainment room.
I am yet to see the demo or any video of these technologies but it sure looks to be immersive :). IBM has also released a white paper entitled “How immersive technology can revitalize the shopping experience”. According to the paper:
Immersive technology solutions—which stimulate people’s visual, auditory, olfactory and tactile senses to connect with shoppers on an emotional level to create unforgettable shopping experiences—can open up a whole new world of energizing shopping experiences. Combined with flexible, responsive business models, they have the potential to transform the way customers interact with your brand.