Could Google Be Making A Virtual Window Into Your Store?
by Charles Pobee-Mensah, Director of Digital Marketing
As tech companies busily move forward with figuring out how to create the next generation of technology, we slowly start to get a glimpse of how things might change for the world of retail jewelry. During a recent conference, Google gave us a little preview of something that could change the way technology collides with selling jewelry.
The “Magic Window”
The demo Google showed off is called Project Starline. Here is how they describe it:
Imagine looking through a sort of magic window, and through that window, you see another person, life-size and in three dimensions. You can talk naturally, gesture, and make eye contact.
What Google is describing is everything that’s missing from today’s video chat. Project Starline seeks to make video chat more like sitting in the same room with another person. After all, that is what Sci-Fi promised we’d get in the future, isn’t it?
Google showed off what was essentially a virtual reality booth located at several of their offices. It has a special setup that enables two people in distant offices to sit as if they are face to face and have a natural conversation. On the screen, you see the other person in their booth in full 3D as if they are sitting directly across from you.
Google tugged on heartstrings by showing family members who hadn’t seen each other in person for a long time reunite using Project Starlight. But the future of this technology could bring new possibilities to the jewelry industry.
A New Reality
Right now, Project Starline is only in Google offices for their research purposes only. But don’t think it will stay there forever. Google has stated:
We believe this is where person-to-person communication technology can and should go, and in time, our goal is to make this technology more affordable and accessible, including bringing some of these technological advancements into our suite of communication products.
We’ve discussed before how augmented reality glasses could change the jewelry industry. Being able to “try on” jewelry without leaving your home would drastically change online sales. But Google’s new “magic window” brings new possibilities. It could be a virtual window into your store.
Imagine for a moment that an “affordable and accessible” version of this technology doesn’t mean two people in large spacious specialized booths like Google has.
Perhaps the technology could be “booth to laptop”.
Imagine a booth in a store streaming to several laptops with 3D screen abilities. After all, small 3D screens have been around for a long time and were even featured for years on a Nintendo handheld system.
Perhaps it could be “laptop to laptop”.
Infusing this technology into future laptops could make them more like lifelike windows instead of lifeless displays. This type of experience on a laptop could change perceptions around meeting online. But this is especially true for retail where you’re showing off products.
Perhaps it could be “screen to screen”.
If this technology can eventually ditch the booth and become ubiquitous, it’s not hard to imagine large virtual screens being built into new homes the way that touch screens have started to come in cars.
Enter Retail Jewelers
These types of “affordable and accessible” versions of this technology might mean the ability to interact in new ways.
- A salesperson could privately meet with a couple to show off engagement rings while they’re at home and the salesperson is in store.
- You could hold a virtual trunk show that makes participants feel like they’re really there. Or, you could include a virtual option and host both live and virtual participants.
- It could even mean that a conversation that starts on the phone could migrate to a virtual visit to show the customer exactly what you were talking about.
While none of this will happen today, it would be foolish not to take Google at their word when they say that they are trying to make this technology more “affordable and accessible”. And if you’re watching like we are, you’ll be ready when it happens.
Are you looking for an agency that knows how to keep up with the changes coming to the jewelry industry? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.