If you’ve seen the movie Minority Report, you’ll remember a scene where Tom Cruise’s character fast-walks through a futuristic retail store, with brands calling out to him, offering him deals based on all the data they have on him. We’re now seeing this happening in real life as store beacons are becoming a reality. But, why should the retailers stop at passive texting or emailing when they can speak directly in your ear, tempting you with offers tailored especially for you. This is where the possibilities of contextual sound come into play. Imagine relevant information being delivered to you, privately, when you need it without you having to lift a finger. This could be made possible by AuR (Audio Augmented Reality), the newest addition to the family of XRs, the other two being VR and AR, reports FashNerd.
Just like Augmented Reality (AR), AuR augments our visual reality by incorporating virtual add-ons. AuR also enhances our reality by curating or selectively manipulating what we hear. This technology offers an immersive experience by including an audio layer on top of real reality, and this eliminates the need for the safety concerns of AR and VR. As seeing takes up a lot of our focus, and hearing has a lower cognitive load, Aur is the safest way of layering on a combined sensory experience.
Peripherii, the newest entrant in the smart audio or hearables market is a good example of AuR. Their advantage over other devices is that being earrings, they are already at the wearer’s ear when needed, unlike earbuds and earphones which are stored away until needed.
When shopping, a hearable device could provide an intuitive way of locating a product in a store. Instead of you looking for help in a store, you can ask a salesperson for help via the earring. Because of the indoor positioning system, salesperson can reach you quickly. Customers as well as sales personnel could be helped by the product finder feature in the earring.
Aur can further customize a customer’s shopping experience by offering him or her a choice of music. If it’s a store that sells music, it can lead to an in-app purchase as well. At the very least, it will make for a much more pleasurable shopping experience.
When you’re in front of a store and you don’t know much about the store’s products, Your AuR hearable can give you a quick summary of the merchandise categories, customer service ratings, etc. You can then choose if you want to go in or not. In addition to the helping functionality, the realm of AuR also includes smart sound filtering.