IBM's New Augmented Reality App Will Track Your Grocery Shopping

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If you simply can't get enough targeted advertising into your life, IBM's new augmented reality mobile shopping app is probably for you. IBM research scientists today announced the app, which will allow customers to scan store shelves with their smartphone to receive coupons and recommendations on the spot. It's the modern version of the grocery store card.

IBM envisions customers downloading the app as they enter a store, then creating a profile based on their phone number or store loyalty card. The app will then allow customers to enter some personal information, such as whether they have specific food allergies, whether they care about biodegradable packaging, or whether they have other dietary needs, such as kosher foods. From there, as customers point the camera of their smartphone at various products, an overlay on the screen will provide informantion about price, ingredients, and possible discounts. Also, social networks can be integrated into results, in case customers want to know what types of food their friends and family "Like."

“In the age of social media, consumer expectations are soaring and people want information and advice about the products they're going to buy,” said Sima Nadler, retail lead at IBM Research. “By closing the gap between the online and in-store shopping experience, marketers can appeal to the individual needs of consumers and keep them coming back.”

IBM is promising to increase retailers' in-store traffic with the technology, stating that the targeted marketing the app provides could help retailers retain customers. IBM even suggests that the app could be used to up-sell or cross-sell products to customers right as they are shopping.

The researchers at IBM have provided the infographic below that shows exactly how the app will work, why they believe retailers should be excited about it, and what they envision the app's effect will be:

How IBM's augmented shopping will work

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