Imagine a physical store where people can continue shopping after closing time... Impossible? Not any more: PayPal, eBay's online payment service, has developed a technology to do just that: a hologram on store displays – directly connected to your smartphone.
Hologram + smartphone = real window shopping
The new concept integrates the online and the offline: a hologram is projected on the store window, including a code that the consumer has to dial with his smartphone – so the new technology might be either an alternative for QR-codes, or it might evolve to include them.
After the code is entered, the smartphone is synchronised with the hologram and the customer can browse the catalogue or look for more information about the products (simultaneously on the window and on the phone)... and – of course – order items through PayPal (on the smartphone only). For obvious reasons, the payment module is not shown on the store display too.
First real application: next month
The world première for the new technology is scheduled for February, in the windows of fashion chain Debenhams and at the London Fashion Week (17-22 February) in Oxford Street, the main shopping street in the British capital.
Eelco Van Wijk, PayPal's country director for Belgium and the Netherlands, thinks beyond store windows: “Bus stations and taxis are also very interesting for this technology. As is virtually anything that you can see, actually.”
As eBay already showed with its own Inspiration Store, it will leave no possibility squandered to make the most of any impulsive purchases. This new technology will certainly help them to provoke even more. The concept is not completely new: Tesco earlier introduced a similar system (but with “normal” paper posters instead of holograms) in a South-Korean subway station.