Late in February, Fujitsu unveiled a prototype of a tablet that has the ability to allow the user to feel the texture of what he/she sees on the screen. Therefore, if you are seeing a rough object, you could feel the coarseness of that object; if you’re seeing a smooth object, you could feel the silky smoothness of that object.
Think of the implications this could provide for online retail. Many people aren’t fond of purchasing clothing online because they can’t touch it, can’t try it on, etc. While they may not be able to try it on (virtual reality and/or sophisticated online diagrams may solve that issue), with this technology, they certainly can get a feel of what the fabric feels like, increasing online clothing conversion rates.
This could encourage more people to shop for clothing online and help to pick up that segment of the online retail industry, as other categories sell much more via online channels, including technology, books, and even food (none of which rely on touch to help convince prospects to make a purchase). With the tablet commerce (a.k.a. “tcommerce”) industry already picking up in terms of higher-priced purchases, this technology would fit in perfectly to encourage even more apparel purchases via tablets.
Most people (particularly women) like to feel the fabric and get an idea of how it would feel on their skin. One part of that puzzle may be solved with this new tactile sensation technology; I definitely can see this technology revolutionizing the online retail and ecommerce industry in the coming years and make it as natural for people to purchase clothing online as they do technology, books, and food.
What do you think? Do you think this will be a game-changer, or is this just a technology that won’t leave any lasting impact on online retail? Let me know in the comments box below.