October 19, 2017

Some Business Ideas with HoloLens – (6) Holo-Online Store

This is the 6th in a series of “Some Business Ideas with HoloLens”. Read other posts here.

HoloLens - Copy

 

Holo-Online Store

Development Effort: 7/10
Business Value: 8/10
Wow Factor: 9/10

Retail industry is in tough business these days, blame the Internet for that. Some stores are still doing well, but retail as a whole is not looking too good. You know that from their quarterly reports for the last a couple of years. The trend is online stores are going up and physical stores are going down. Even though in the foreseeable future, majority of shopping are going to happen at the real stores. For many products, people need to touch and feel before buying, but there is an irreversible trend, people are given more and more reasons to shop online. Traditional retailers, like Sears, Best Buy, have their online stores too. However, as online stores, they are not as dominant as they are in physical stores. So, I personally think boosting online stores is strategically important for traditional retail businesses. With Hololens, online stores have an opportunity to revolutionized online shopping experience.

What online stores lack is: People don’t see the actual products. They only see a few images. With HoloLens and holographic interface, people can see the products almost like real ones. They can look at them from different angle. Maybe they can even try it out virtually. This is totally different shopping experience. It is fun too. I believe whoever do it first would get a lot of attention. It is not whether you should do it, it is whether you can do it early.

The implementation involves two main tasks:  do 3D scanning on every items you sell. I think HoloLens should do it when it is released by the end of the year, because if Kinect can do it, HoloLens can do it too. Clearly Microsoft have already done this with real people, it shouldn’t be too hard to do the same with other products. Task #2 is to write software and put those 3D items in. There two ways to do that.

1. Do it as a web application. This can be done as an ActiveX control because script language are not allowed to access Windows 10 holographic APIs.

2. As an Windows 10 App, which can run on HoloLens. This is preferred way to implement it.