The retailer’s innovation lab is responsible for many of Tesco’s future-facing products, which it has many, for example the business was experimenting with virtual reality back in 2012.
This week it has announced the release of its shopping app, Tesco Grocery, on Google Glass, so wearers can use voice command to search for a product, or use the camera to scan a barcode and enter it into their online basket.
According to Pablo Coberly who was working on the project, the team released a prototype video of how the app would work, and how shoppers would interact with the wearable tech.
Google released Glass to a UK public audience in summer 2014, some two years after it was available for US and global developers. Costing £1,000, this test-and-learn approach and remaining in constant beta – a strategy it adopted in 2004 when releasing Gmail – has not gone down too well.
Google has reported it is stopping sales of Glass in favour of developing the technology behind closed doors. The company has been quick to comment that this is not the end of Glass, and Coberly also suggests that there is still work to be done together on Tesco Grocery.
“Given the steady flow of software updates, and the various articles that have been published alluding to updated Glass hardware, I can’t help but feel this is still the beginning of the journey for Glass and for Tesco.”
The number of people who own Glass is unlikely to make this an earner for Tesco, but it is keeping its name as an innovator in retail. Also those innovative merchants that were removing the barriers to purchase in 2014, for example through products like Amazon Dash, offering the customer a more convenient way to buy (a trend we’ve been calling Frictionless Commerce on 12ahead) will be finding a lot more competition in 2015.