The Future is Bright, The Future is Mobile

Person holding mobile phone

The future’s bright, the future’s mobile; a connected life with a side order of augmented reality.

Mobile World Capital Barcelona

During Mobile World Congress 2014 (MWC14) I attended a keynote titled ‘Driving New Revenues & Relationships for Operators and Brands’ where Marieta Rivero, CMO of Telefonica Digital stated that, “whether it’s entertainment, leisure, driving or shopping the digital revolution is turning day to day life upside down.” Thomas Crampton, Global MD for Social Media at Ogilvy & Mather added that, “the worlds of social and mobile are merged to the point where they are indistinguishable.”

Both points are valid yet when it comes to living a mobile, connected life how close are we? And in what way might Augmented Reality kick in?
The Olenick team headed off on a Mobile City Tour to find out how far Barcelona had managed to bring mobile innovations to it’s streets whilst transforming our experiences of shopping, art and culture.
Several fashion stores in Barcelona’s shopping area of Passeig de Gràcia had installed m_shopping solutions aimed at showing how mobile technology improves the user experience.

The highlight for me was a VIP guided tour of one of Antoni Gaudi’s most emblematic masterpieces, Casa Batlló. Their premium video guide (below) is a small tablet with headphones that takes you on an enchanting room by room tour revealing hidden secrets, encrypting symbolism and all the while creating original settings and atmosphere. Before your very eyes skylights in the shape of tortoise shells take form and swim away, the mushroom fireplace disappears in a puff of smoke and the ingenious ventilation system reminiscent of fish gills is beautifully depicted. The talk of the town was UX – this incredible example of augmented reality hit the spot!

At Geox, an Italian brand of shoes and clothing, they had installed NFC Technology. You check in when you arrive at the store and then scan the various tags to download all the product details including available sizes, colours and stock levels direct to your mobile device. You can then try and buy or just buy and head straight to the check out to collect your goods. It felt like you we’re shopping online in store.

We then had an opportunity to experience Google glass at Desigual. I was excited at the prospect of actually wearing the product having seen a few visitors at MWC sporting their pair. And it didn’t disappoint! You use voice commands to activate the Google glass then when you picked up an item, the product information is automatically displayed including various images and video as well as suggesting other products that would create a show stopping outfit – a great opportunity to up sell. You could also photograph items as you went along too.

 

In my opinion the concept is cool, but in reality the technology is a little too clunky to be mainstream anytime soon. That said, I’m looking forward to being able to ‘click & pay’ my way through a mall without being laden down with shopping bags.