Archive for March 26th, 2011

Shopping and Advertising by Touch, why not?

Saturday, March 26th, 2011 by Leticia Decker

What if you could use your body as a data transmission medium? This kind of research aready exists; it was started in Japan few years ago and continued by Korean and by Telecom Italia Lab researchers. It is possible to transmit data through the human skin with a 10 Mbps bandwidth, which is faster than
wireless technologies such as bluetooth. In this article, Korean researchers have thought of a medical application using this data transmission technology, but we could go beyond that and imagine other
services.

If we assume that human skin data transmission is economically viable, we could imagine a scenario in which everybody could adopt it and have a special device or handphone with the funcionality of decoding electrical signals transmited through the body. In this way, as an example, a supermarket supporting this technology would enable you to buy products by touch. Then you say: ‘I am sorry??’. Let me explain it…

Imagine that every shelf has an electronic button that can transmit data when it is touched. Since your body can now be a wire, when you touch the shelf button with a hand while having that product in your other hand you could trigger the buy-transaction and put it inside your shopping cart. Alternatively the button may be on the shopping cart itself, connected wirelessly to the supermarket IS.

But shopping could go beyond that! When you are choosing a product to put in your shopping cart, you could experiment some feelings related to the products: since you can capture the product identity by touching it, this information can be relayed via your cell phone, along with your profile, to some  merchant’s website to deliver you more info that can be displayed in a variety of ways.

This can really give a twist to the meaning of window shopping!