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, July 14, 2015

Store of the Future May Be a Hologram

For years, technologists have predicted that virtual-reality applications are right around the corner—apps that can provide an immersive 3-D experience to enhance students’ learning, allow a customer to try products, or provide employee training. At long last, they may be right.

Most of the virtual-reality applications so far have dabbled in gaming. Microsoft has been trying to scare up companies to develop more practical software for its augmented-reality headset known as HoloLens. Last week, one company stepped forward with plans to build apps for HoloLens with businesses in mind.

Object Theory, whose founders include a former Microsoft engineer and an entrepreneur who created mobile apps for Starbucks and Whole Foods Market, told the IDG News Service it expects to leave the gaming apps to the entertainment industry and instead focus on business needs.

“High-end jewelry and fashion stores and car dealerships could use HoloLens to show customers products that are customized to their specifications,” said IDG’s article in PC World. “Holograms can help retailers plan store layouts and shelf placement, among other in-store uses.”

Recent advances in the technology that underpins augmented reality are making it more commercially feasible to develop apps that businesses could actually deploy.

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