At the Ref Desk (5/12/20): We have entered the Age of Lookups. [more...]

Smart Phones are the new Magic Wand

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 2/27/10 (11:40am)

You'll be able to wave your smart phone at a product in a store and buy it if this article in the New York Times is to be believed.

Of course, the notion that people will be willing to turn their phones into a delivery device for retail marketing based on their every GPS move, called "aggressive merchandising" in the article, is a complete absurdity.

This however sounds more promising:

Many big retailers have already created cellphone applications that do more than just dole out coupons. Target, for one, has an application that can identify which store aisle sells nightgowns.

We don't do nightgowns (at least not yet) but it's the same idea for say, books on English Literature or the Life Sciences. Our wares can just as easily be exposed.

In any case, the more general point is how powerful the potential is for a device that's both networked and capable of real-time audio/video.