5 High-Fashion Uses for Google Glass
Google Glass is now on limited release to a select cohort of 'Glass Explorers'. Offering voice control, head-up display and instant sharing, the possibilities of wearable and hands-free augmented reality are pretty darn exciting. And while there are serious real world problems this tech can be deployed to address, it also has exciting potential to change the way we shop and dress. With that in mind - and amidst rumors the Google may be opening its own retail stores - here's a look at high-fashion problems at every step of the consumer journey that Glass can be put to work to solve.
1. Show Me What I Want
We have access to literally millions of products at any given time. So oftentimes what we want is out there, we just aren't finding it. Imagine an app that brings personalized shopping to anywhere you go: storing your 'of the moment' looks from every source (street and celeb style, editorial, Pinterest), indexing them (black and white blouson top, gray distressed jeans), and alerting and directing you to similar styles in the store through geocoding and inventory data. That's a win-win for consumers - easier and content-rich shopping experience - and stores - increased conversions and average spend.
2. Tell Me What I Already Have
Over 90% of women own something with the tags still on. We step into the store environment - style and sensory overload! - and without our closets in mind, may leave with items totally impractical for our real life. Now how much better would that decision-making process be if via Glass we could bring our whole closet with us into every store? An app could store every item we own, browsable by style (casual or cocktail) and category (tops and bottoms) for an in-store reality check on what we really need and will wear. And why not make that closet even smarter by associating with every item a video clip of you in it and links to the items you'd pair it with, and record of the last time and place your wore it.
3. Help Me Ask My Friends
Women shop in packs for a reason: our friends will be brutally honest ("Hon, those white super skinnies are a don't") when a sales associate may not. But let's face it, oftentimes we're going at it solo. Teleportation may not yet have enabled instant appearances by our most trusted style advisors, but Google Glass can. Imagine a social shopping app that brings the video conference experience in-store by sharing real-time video with friends for input as you're browsing racks or trying on looks. Take this one step further, and it also makes a compelling business plan for personal stylists: expanding to virtual services via Glass to allow them to take on more clients while streamlining operations.
4. Do the Dirty Work For Me
Ecommerce has drawn consumers away from in-store for reasons of convenience (anywhere, anytime) but also availability of information. For most products I can check out a detailed description, user reviews and product availability with the click of a button. That access is leading to an increased consumer expectation for information before making a purchase, which carries in-store, as well. With this in mind, retailers are already moving into the space of augmented in-store reality via mobile app, but imagine the jump in experience if it were done via Glass: I scan any barcode in the store and up pops product reviews, price comparisons, user and retail-generated imagery, and associated products without the disconnect of a device or screen. The app could even add a layer of personalization, offering tailored content specific to my profile, preferences and history: "We have this dress in stock in your size and it will be waiting in a dressing room with your name on it, along with some tops you might like to go with those jeans you bought last week."
5. Tell Me What To Wear
For many, the most significant question we ask ourselves in the morning will not be 'What will I eat,' but 'What will I WEAR!' It's a complex, daily decision informed by many variables: what's on my agenda, the weather, who I'll see, how I'll get there... Make a misstep, and I shudder to think of the consequences (kidding... kind of). So how about an app that checked my calendar and tasks (business or social, upscale restaurant or patio cafe, walking or driving, swing by the store after work), checked the weather, and gave me a daily cheat sheet on what to wear. And how about even syncing with (1) and (2) above to give me some outfit ideas informed by my current style inspirations and what's in my closet. Note this could exist outside of Glass, but controlling via voice and head-up display makes it sooo much more fun for getting dressed in the AM.