A feature published by HuffPo this past weekend sought to tells us what shopping will look like in the future. Apparently, this future includes holograms. I'm not so sure this is a good thing.
"Retail futurist" Doug Stephens told HuffPo ”Physical shopping will become a lot more fun because it’s going to have to be.” Basically, online shopping has become so simple and alluring that brick-and-mortar stores are going to have to amp up their fun game. Fair enough. Most of the solutions presented in the HuffPo article sound convenient. For example, analyst Sucharita Mulpuru says that stores will begin to offer more services, including:
day care, veterinary services and beauty services. Services that connect online and offline shopping could increase as well, with more drive-thru pickup and order-online, pick-up-in-store services. Checkout also will be self-service or with cashiers using computer tablets.
But there's one development that I definitely don't want to see: holograms that try on clothes for you. According to the HuffPo piece:
EBay recently bought PhiSix, a company working on creating life-size 3-D models of clothing that can be used in dressing rooms to instantly try on different colors of clothing or different styles. You can see 30 or 40 items of clothing realistically without physically trying them on.
But here's the problem: one of the great benefits of shopping in a physical store is the ability to try on clothes yourself. Sure, a hologram might show you how an item will look in action (on the hologram, not on your actual body). But it won't let you know how the fabric of feels on your skin or whether the item fits the way you want it to fit. I'm all for technology when new inventions improve the quality of life, but this is an example of taking things too far.
We don't need flashy holograms in our dressing rooms for the sake of, well, having flashy holograms in our dressing rooms. This is a dressing room, not a music festival. If I'm going to buy clothes in a store, I want to put those clothes on my body before I pay money for them.