Future technology that we typically only see in sci-fi movies, like the Minority Report, is starting to become a reality for shoppers today. In one scene, Tom Cruise’s character happens to walk by an electronic billboard which recognizes and interacts with him. Crazy, but not too far off anymore with where technology is heading. Over on the Engadget site, they recently featured an article on Samsung’s answer to Apple’s iBeacon, called Proximity. The concept is both pretty exciting and a bit paranoia inspiring, too.
Shopping technology you will soon see (or not)
In a nutshell, if a store, restaurant, or other retailer installs a Proximity or iBeacon device, anyone with a more recent smartphone model and bluetooth enabled could be essentially “followed” while inside, or close enough outside, a beacon. In the article’s example, say you are clothes shopping and are a bit on the fence about buying an item. The technology could immediately send you a message about a limited time offer that might be available just for you. Sounds pretty good to me!
Since I promote loyalty programs and electronic coupons quite often on this blog, I am not too bothered by yet another method of tracking my retail habits or whereabouts through technology. I think the opportunity to receive limited-time offers or discounts that don’t require you to hunt for a paper or electronic coupon first far outweigh any intrusion these devices may cause.