Who doesn’t love shopping? For a long time, the only way we could shop was to go out to a store or market, choose the product we need to buy and pay for it in-person. Today the duration between the desired purchase and its delivery at our door has significantly decreased. Infact, Amazon is looking to make the duration even shorter by using drones to deliver purchased items within minutes.
So, this one is for the Shopaholics out there. These new start-ups have introduced technologies that has made shopping easier, quicker and more fun.
Camfind: The Google for Visual Search
Suddenly remembered to buy something for yourself while you are enjoying a day out? What do you do? You ask what the item is and buy it then and there. But what if there was a Google search mechanism where adding an image could help you find out what the item is?
That’s the promise of visual search, and it is one of the holy grails of technology development. It’s a simple idea. Just grab your phone, snap a picture of whatever item you want to identify, and instantly see the results.
Enter Camfind, which has built a powerful visual search engine with 100% results. It already has more than 1,500 developers using its API, CloudSight, to add visual search to their apps. The purpose of its API is to save potential partners, especially retailers, the time and resources needed to develop a similar technology. Additionally, Camfind already has 11 patents pending for approval.
Cimagine: Augmented Reality Shopping
The major issue of ordering a product is imagining what an item would look like in reality- particularly for the physical items like furniture (Will they fit that space?) or clothes (How would look on me in person?). What if you could simply hold up your phone, tablet, or (in the future) smart glasses and see what the item would look like in your living room?
That is what Cimagine is offering via its technology. The company recently teamed up with U.K. online retailer Shop Direct and rolled out what it said was the largest proof-of-concept AR deployment ever. Although AR technology is still in developmental stages, Cimagine is using a technology that does not require markers or codes to work. It can simply use the camera on your device to scan a room and create a realistic AR experience.
This means it is a much more flexible solution and is easier to implement for the company. It also allows a more seamless experience for customers–they just need a phone/ tablet with a camera and they can see the product in their living room.
Sling- Mobile Payment Method for Small Ventures:
After online payment, mobile payments are going to revolutionize the way you pay for things for a while now. But many of these solutions are intended for companies that have already implemented credit card payments. Sling is trying to bring mobile credit card payments to micro businesses (ventures so small they might not even have a store or office) with a solution that they hope will mimic the ease of paying with cash. The idea is to combine the power of a mobile app with the tangible element of cash.
Sling gives vendors a simple bracelet with a code to log in to their account. Additionally, vendors can also receive stickers that they can place on their products. For consumers, they only have to share their credit details with Sling via its mobile app, and not with any unknown merchant. When they want to pay for something, they just open up the Sling app, note the code on the bracelet/ sticker, and make their payment.
The company hopes this will translate into a seamless process for both sides. It gives a trustworthy solutions to buyers, and it means that micro merchants won’t need the resources of a larger business to purchase equipment.
Commerce, Marketing and Shopping is like a wheel in a constant motion. Small entrepreneurial projects like these are changing shopping while the companies following mainstream technologies will be left behind.