2011.09 | Futures: Screens, Mobile Payment, and Kiosks

The inflow of data on the changes in the retail environment brought about by technology can certainly be overwhelming.  Here are some of the most interesting retail technology stories I discovered recently:

A Day Made of Glass – A promotional video from Corning shows the potential pervasiveness of screens and technology in the future.  Also see a very similar video from TAT last year.  These future concepts certainly highlight the necessity of keeping a very open mind to new interfaces for all consumer facing businesses – most particularly retailers.  With all of these future interfaces, how can retailers find ways to add value to the consumer?

Mobile Payments – Discover alternative electronic currencies, the increasing use of SMS based currency in Kenya (M-Pesa), and the potential future of the Smartphone Wallet with David Schropfer on CBC Spark Podcast #139.  The move of the developing world towards electronic payment is a relevant case study for those of us considering mobile payments and solutions in North America.  There will be great challenges to overcome in moving past current infrastructures, and keeping the interface of mobile payments as simple and universally accepted as cash.  Let’s not even mention the challenges of PCI – with applications being being de-validated after initial validation.

Common Kiosk Applications – Kiosks have been a mainstay in retail for many years, and even with all of the mobile and web solutions at hand, will continue to play a large role.  Consider some of the most prevalent solutions for which kiosks are being used. (via DigSignageToday)  JC Penney’s new kiosk solution certainly takes endless aisle to a new level.

Mobile Apps For Retailers – There are a lot of apps for consumers to interface with retailers.  How about tools for the retailers to use?  Here is an overview of options. (via RogersBuzz)  Also an interesting mobile check-in module rolling out at Whole Foods.  Please don’t let these things become the spam and junkmail of the future.

Changing Markets – Retail is being constantly re-shaped by technology as well as the times.   Heather Reisman recently discussed selling books and ebooks on Canada AM.  In the US, Dollar Stores are becoming a destination for groceries.

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