Late last year, Instagram introduced shopping tags to allow people to buy products through the platform, and now Nike—in addition to other companies such as Kate Spade and Warby Parker—announced they plan to take advantage of this new offering to sell their products. The move makes sense for Instagram, helping companies to connect with consumers who like what they see. But that is only one example of how the mobile landscape is evolving to help make various aspects of people’s lives easier and more seamless—or just a little more enjoyable.
AR: Expanding Augmented Reality
Other than through games like Pokémon Go, augmented reality (AR) hasn’t really taken off, but Apple might just change that. At the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, they announced ARKit, a new cutting-edge platform that is supposed to make it easy to develop AR apps for the iPhone and iPad. While this might not be for everyone, marketers might want to take notice. If Apple is betting big on this technology, then it has the possibility to impact our everyday lives beyond just catching Pokémon.
Search: Photographic Memory
At Google’s I/O developer conference in May, the company unveiled many new features, but one of the most interesting was Google Lens. This program, which will be integrated into Google Photos and Assistant later this year, allows you to learn more about the world around you through visuals—and take action. For instance, point your camera at a flower and Google Lens can tell you what kind of flower it is and how to care for it. Want to connect to a friend’s WiFi? Just point your camera at their router info and Google Lens will take care of the rest.
Eye Care: Quick Prescription Check
Warby Parker is now offering its customers a quick and easy way to find out if they need a new eyeglass prescription. Its Prescription Check app will guide eligible users through a series of tests conducted on a computer to measure your refractive error, which determines if you need a new prescription. One disclosure: This is not meant to replace a comprehensive eye exam, so if you do need a new prescription the app may suggest visiting an eye doctor. Otherwise, you can get an updated version of your previous prescription that can be used anywhere.
Work: New Way to Converse
Doist, the company behind the task-management app Todoist, recently launched a new communication tool for teams called Twist. This app is meant to serve as an improvement to email as well as chat apps, such as Slack, Hangouts, and WhatsApp, by offering something in-between. Every conversation on Twist is separated by topic and organized into threads (to prevent replies from being buried in an endless stream of group chat) as well as archived and searchable (to make it easier to find the info you need later).
Shopping: Skip The Queues
In late May, Barclaycard began beta testing its new “queue-less checkout” payment concept—Grab+Go. Instead of shoppers collecting the items they want to buy and then waiting in line to purchase them, they would simply use the app to scan the barcode of each product before putting it in their cart or bag. Once they get everything they want, they just click to complete the purchase using pre-loaded payment details and they are free to leave. The app will also store a receipt of the purchases.