The retail industry seems to be taking inspiration from the 1985 film The Purple Rose of Cairo. While audiences won’t see products actually moving out of the screen and into the real world, smart TV-enabled shopping, which allows viewers to purchase goods straight off the screen, may be the next best thing. (Call it the “Purple Retail of Cairo”?)
The latest PYMNTS Intelligence of Things Tracker™ examines how connected TVs are connecting consumers to products faster than ever, enabling viewers to make real-time purchases based on recently viewed commercials, without the friction of even pulling out a phone or laptop to search the product.
Around the IoT world:
Fans at the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea can warm their hands and fill their suitcases with souvenirs using new near field communication (NFC)-enabled payment gloves from Visa and Lotte Card. Plus, the companies’ other new wearables go beyond the traditional sense of “wearing” — instead of more clothing, fans can purchase prepaid commemorative payment stickers and collectible pins.
And if getting to and from PeyongChang seems like a hassle, IoT-savvy travelers can now turn to their FitBit Ionic smartwatchs for help. Under a recent upgrade, Fitbit added more than 60 apps to the device, including TripAdvisor, British Airways and United Airlines. This development puts several travel-related apps in the palm (well, on the wrist) of Fitbit Ionic users, giving them the ability to view nearby restaurants from TripAdvisor, check in to United flights and access flight status information from British Airways.
Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa is also traveling, and doing so from the smart home to the connected workplace. Amazon recently positioned its virtual assistant for use in the office and announced a toolbox for designing Alexa workplace applications. While the company hasn’t exactly given Alexa a resume highlighting past work experience and recent accomplishments, Amazon’s blog outlined anticipated jobs where Alexa might shine. These jobs include locating vacant conference rooms, ordering new office supplies and helping schedule meetings.
Are smart TVs the new retail star?
Smart TV-enabled retail is the next frontier of shopping, according to Connekt CEO Mike Fitzsimmons. It's a topic on which PYMNTS has been keeping an eye and it has its own thoughts about where television commerce may be headed. Fitzsimmons recently spoke with PYMNTS about his company’s smart shopping app, ShopTV. The app allows smart TV owners to remote-click on commercials and purchase or browse the advertising brand’s products directly from the screen in real time.
“The motivation to launch ShopTV was this fundamental belief that as smart televisions get connected to the internet, the opportunity for commerce to take place on those televisions is real,” Fitzsimmons said.
According to Connekt, 260 million connected TVs are projected to be installed by 2020, and 42 percent of respondents in the company’s recent survey said they were likely to purchase products through their TV in 2018.
To read the full feature story, along with the latest IoT headlines and trends, and for rankings of nearly 250 major providers — including 10 new additions — download the IoT Tracker.
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About The Tracker
The PYMNTS.com Intelligence of Things Tracker™ showcases companies that are leading the way in all aspects of the Intelligence of Things. Every month, the Tracker looks at what these companies are doing across the ecosystem and in several categories, including Personal, Home, Retail, Transportation, Wearable, Mobile, Infrastructure, Data and more.