By Michelle Graff
Working on the interactive display story this month gave me a fun taste of what's to come in jewelry retailing, and it’s something I'm very much looking forward to.

I love perusing jewelry in stores--who isn't attracted to bright, shiny things?--but I have to admit, I don't know that I would call it the most fun experience. I often feel slightly uncomfortable when I see that I’m being watched like a hawk, add to that, unlike in stores such as Apple, where I can test out products to my heart's content, I can't touch and feel the jewelry without the help of a salesperson.

I know that's simply safe jewelry retailing, but a few new technologies are helping to add more excitement to the experience.


Touch     Asch

At Geneva's l'Heure Asch, an interactive display located right in the store window helps to draw passersby indoors. Pressing a touch pad located on the outside glass turns the displays inside, allowing customers to see a greater array of timepieces.


Amsterdam-based retailer Ace Jewelers Group uses an augmented reality tool on its Web site. Customers who visit the site are invited to virtually "try on" rings on their own computer. They simply print out a marker item, such as a paper ring, put it on and point it at their Web cam. The user will then be able to select from various pave rings on Ace's Web site, and their chosen ring will show up on their hand onscreen, in the place of the marker ring. If customers like what they see, they can purchase the ring online or visit one of the retailer's stores. Devised by London-based Holition, retailers can use the tool on their Web sites or via in-store kiosks.

TAGS:   Technology
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