Sunday, 15 September 2013

The Future of Retail



Today is just another normal day, a very normal day in the year 2030. Bill is still sleeping soundly in his bed with his wife in his arms. But in a few moments he will wake up to one distinctive sound, the sound of his morning alarm. No sooner had we said these words the alarm has went off and has woken Bill as it has did dutifully for the last innumerable years. Strangely his wife has not stirred at all, and bears no expression of having heard this demonic noise. The wonders of technology have been able to deliver this amazing piece of essential technology, the custom alarm. Not only does the alarm be configured to the time and date and need but also to the person whom it is intended for.


Bill lazily made his way to the fridge to get his morning drink. A doctor has had given him strict instructions to limit his choice of drinks to a selection of fruit juices. Thanks to his over loving wife he was in no way able to sneak in anything remotely alcoholic. He started missing his old friend, the one that did not have a brain of its own and one that did not betray his every move to his wife. The fridge he was about to open was in fact the very latest in its kind a true design. The manufactures with a tie-up with the leading online retail giant was able to make the fridge so intelligent that replenishing his fridge was a thing of the past. He never remembered ever putting anything in the fridge anymore. The online store did it for him. Whenever he was low on anything the fridge would order them automatically and the store would replenish them for you. It used to work with alcohol too but unfortunately his wife had keyed in his health details and the evil doctor okay it and by doing so have compelled the fridge to make up its mind to stop his drinking altogether. The fridge just doesn't seem to get the fact that it was he who was paying the bills.


Sipping his juice bill slowly moved to his new couch, there was something fascinating about the way he bought the couch too. He didn't have to wander through multiple shops, scrimmaging through millions of models to select this one. He bought it with the help of SmartShop .  SmartShop was what could be called an integrated shopping system that helped him visualize how each piece of furniture would actually appear with the help of holographic display. He actually got to try on various couches and how they would go with the room. Kind of like the way he remembered his parents used to shop for clothes back in his childhood.



He leaned on his couch and stared at the wall for a long time. Anyone from half a decade ago would have thought that he was meditating. He slowly but quite audible commanded a virtually invisible TV to open channel 467 and instantly his wall transformed into one gigantic flat screen and started showing him the news he asked for. Of all the wonders of technology that had encroached on his life, this one was his favorite and for good reason too. But unfortunately it was his wife’s favorite too. Every good thing has a turn off, some fine print here, and some fine print there. Suddenly his eyes fell on the magnificent pair of jackets that the guy in the TV was wearing, that was what he was looking for, exactly the same one. He ordered the TV to pause and looked at it once more with awe. It was so beautiful. He wanted it and he had to get his hands on them. They were just perfect. He clicked on the shirt and instantly launching a million bits of electronic data to every possible vendor on the face of earth and may be a few on moon and mars, searching over numerous brands and their specific designs to find a near perfect match for Bill. A flutter later the wall has transformed into a virtual store with all the different results that was found.


A virtual Bill, more commonly known as the avatar took center stage on the screen and readied himself. At the tap of Bill’s each fingertips, the other Bill started trying each of the various items as Bill wished to try on. He flaunted his looks in the new clothes in front of himself. He scrutinized and he even asked a couple of his friends who were also awake at that ungodly hour for their conflicting opinions and finally settled on a specific piece that he liked. He made the purchase and was sure that by the time he got himself a bath and walked up to the front door, his new clothes would be there waiting for him to try it on.


Just then his personal assistant reminded him gently that he was getting late and his boss wouldn't be very happy with him if he got late today too. This intervention by his trusted digital secretary of sorts stuck Bill as weird, after all how long would he have spent sipping Orange Juice. Apparently very long if the assistant has to be trusted and there was no real reason to doubt the assistant now. He rushed to the bathroom and had his bath, groomed himself and readied himself in the meager time he was left with after his tedious morning activity of sipping orange juice. As he was coming back he found his wife in the kitchen and on the table was a package.


She must have heard his steps, for she turned around as he approached and soon a delightful smile spread on her face. She came close and kissed him and wished him good morning.  “By the way, Dear! This came for you this morning she announced.  He knew what was inside and he also knew that his wife would chide him if she found out what was in it. He smiled at her and parted with her after some exchange of confectioneries. That was  atypical day in the life of Bill, A typical day in the year 2030.


Courtesy : +Parvathi s - The Idiot who helped me edit this one.