Shop Talk

the latest updates in online shopping

Google Glasses February 26, 2012

Filed under: Other — Emily Wagner @ 4:48 pm

This post is admittedly veering away from this blog’s typical range of topics. However, I was surfing the web and found something really interesting concerning new media frontiers and thought I’d share.  Just think of it as something you could potentially buy online in the future–maybe by the end of this year??

What I’m talking about is Google glasses.  A number of anonymous Google employees have reported that the company is currently developing Android-powered glasses.  The glasses will supposedly resemble a design similar to the Oakley Thumps (below) but with a few extra buttons on the sides.

.So why is this cool?  Using wireless connection or 3G/4G connections, these glasses will tap into Google’s cloud and inform the user on their environment, including locations or friends nearby, and objects that they look at.  These glasses will also work as a smartphone, with the ability to make calls, use certain apps, and connect with friends.  Using GPS and motion sensors these glasses will be able to provide real time information on user’s location.

The glasses will feature a low-resolution camera on the front for gathering information to relay to a small screen built into one side of the lenses. You will not be able to see through this screen but it will be located to the side so your vision will not be obscured.  This camera will also be able to take pictures and will include a built-in flash.

One Google employee said the glasses would tap into a number of Google software products that are currently available and in use today, but will display the information in an augmented reality view, rather than as a Web browser page like those that people see on smartphones.

When I first read this, I was confused about how the glasses would work.  What I’ve gathered is that as you’re reading through the information you will have to tilt your head to scroll and click.  I’m not exactly sure how or what that means but sources at Google have noted that this function is a lot eaiser to use than it sounds and that these movements will hardly be noticable to others.  That’s comforting to hear but I’m a little doubtful that random jerks of the head will not seem like odd behavior.

Unnamed employees told the New York Times that the new Google glasses are expected to be priced much like a current smartphone (around $250-$600) and are aimed for a 2012 release date.

This post reminds me of Lauren’s post iContacts.  Instead of contacts these are glasses and seem to be almost done with their design period.  Something that immediately came to mind was how little I’d have to carry around if these became successful.  Years ago, before leaving the house people would have to grab their cell phones, mp3 players, and planners.  These days the only thing I ever have to carry with me is my iphone.  Maybe one day people would only have to carry their glasses.

Personally, I think that these glasses seem really cool.  I’m still a little confused about how easy they will be to use and I’m not aware of all of their functions.  I’m excited to see what becomes of them if Google does release them by the end of the year.

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Hungry? February 19, 2012

Filed under: Shopping hints — Emily Wagner @ 3:33 pm

If the answer is yes, ordering food online is getting progressively easier.  Food is only a few clicks away.  Everyone is aware that restaurants now have websites that allow you to easily order online. This is extremely convenient when you have a computer and internet access around. But it’s annoying when all you have is your phone.

There’s an app for that.  Not surprisingly, restaurants have taken advantage of smart phones.  Everyone almost always has their cell phone attached to them and you do not need access to wifi to get online.

Here are a few apps that you should download in case hunger strikes you when all you have is your phone/ipod:

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Cyber Monday February 13, 2012

Filed under: Shopping websites — Emily Wagner @ 12:33 am

Cyber Monday is the term given to the Monday immediately following Black Friday.  It’s the biggest and greatest day for online shopping of the year.  It got its start from Americans taking advantage of the high-speed Internet connections at work to buy items they couldn’t find in the stores after a long Thanksgiving weekend of shopping.

Some of the great things about Cyber Monday:

  • Shop in comfort.  There’s no need to go out into the chaos of Black Friday.  You can stay at home in your pajamas with your laptop and shop in peace.
  • No lines.  Just a few simple clicks.
  • Fantastic deals.  As day has become better known, more and more stores are taking advantage and offering amazing deals.

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The two sides of online shopping February 5, 2012

Filed under: Shopping websites — Emily Wagner @ 11:11 pm

With the uprising of the internet, the daily habits of many people have changed.  One aspect of everyday life that has been significantly affected is shopping.  Not only shopping for clothing- but shopping for anything including gifts and groceries.  What used to involve a tiring trip involving transportation, searching, and waiting in lines has been transformed into a few simple clicks.  As an introduction to this blog I’d like to discuss a few pros and cons of electronic shopping:

Pros:

  • Available at all hours of the day.  This is extremely convenient.  Finding times when you are free to shop that fit within a store’s hours of operation can prove very difficult.
  • Can shop from any location with internet access.  This eliminates having to travel to different locations and can save a lot of time.  This also makes it a lot easier to purchase things that come from two different stores.
  • No lines. 
  • Easier for parents.  Lugging children around be exhausting.
  • Can pick and choose items privately.  This makes it easier to purchase items that some people may be embarrassed to hand to a cashier.

Cons:

  • You can only view what fits on one page at a time.  It is easier to view all options quickly when you are standing in the store.
  • Cannot shop without internet connection. 
  • Can’t buy with cash or checks. 
  • Cannot physically see the item.  This is what I would argue is the biggest con.  In bookstores you can read a view pages before buying the book.  In clothing stores you can hold and try on the item before purchasing it.  Seeing the item in person makes a big difference.
  • Shipping and handling prices can get exorbitant. 

The nature of shopping is continuously adapting to new forms of technology. Not only are more and more websites comparing deals and offering coupons popping up but other electronic mediums are providing shopping assistance.