Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Window Shopping Goes High-Tech

Digital services agency United Future has developed a system that turns a retailer’s storefront into an interactive, touchscreen shopping experience. The company believes the technology will attract more customers, particularly tech-savvy ones such as college students, and increase sales.

The system uses a touch-sensitive film attached to the storefront glass, along with a projector and laptop. The touchscreen display can be customized for each retailer, who can change information displayed on an hourly basis if they choose.

The shopper uses the window touchscreen to drag and drop apparel items onto mannequins sized to fit their personal measurements. Customers can then complete a purchase through QR codes linked to secure store web sites. United Future is trying to enhance the system to enable payments using a smartphone by tapping on the glass.

“Our product extends the shelf by helping educate the consumer and bringing the retail floor to life,” Scott Holmes, president of United Futures, said in an article for a National Retail Federation publication. “That, to me, is the future of where retail is headed: toward more experiential shopping. We must connect across all retail channels to succeed in the future.”

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