Tesco R&D team has partnered with Google Glass to test an app that orders groceries virtually.
The prototype Glass app lets the wearer scan a barcode to quickly add products to their virtual basket or find out about its nutritional information.
Tesco admits it would struggle with a weekly shop, but says the app is perfect for "micro interactions" on a small scale.
“We’ve been checking out Google glass for a few months now; experimenting with applications for colleagues and customers while evaluating the technology itself,” said Pablo Coberly, Tesco Labs.
“We thought about how our colleagues might be able to use Glass to check stock hands-free, or how our customers might be able to add a product to their grocery delivery basket while making a cup of tea.
“Getting to that stage has been a journey into entirely new areas of user interaction: new gestures, user interface elements, and input mechanisms.”
Coberly joined Tesco in May 2013 after software development and engineering roles at HarperCollins Publishers and Bauer Media.
His role is to ‘build things while constantly learning about new and old technology’.
“My general objective is to collaborate with my colleagues to get the best out of technology for our customers,” he added.
“Most of all, it’s about trying to understand the use-cases for Glass.”
Coberly said the device is unlike any other hardware technology it has had before, so the R&D team try to apply similar designs it sees for mobiles, tablets and desktop computing to see if they stick to Glass.
Just the beginning
“Glass isn’t the kind of tech you use for 15, 10 or even five minutes at a time,” he said.
“You’re not going to comfortably do your entire grocery shop by staring at the top right-hand corner of your field of vision, but you might just add a single item, see some nutritional information, and then move on.
“You might get a notification about your delivery, including a photo of your delivery driver.”
He added this is just the beginning of its journey with Glass, but the team was very excited about it and other wearables, and how you will use that technology to interact with Tesco.
“Every once in a while, a piece of technology comes along that pushes the boundaries of science-fiction, making all sorts of potential use-cases an immediately reality,” he said.
“Glass feels like one of those technologies, in the sort of way WiFi or Smart Phones changed things.”