AR and Iris Authentication: The Future of Shopping

MasterCard, Osterhout Design Group (ODG), and Qualcomm turn to AR and eye technology to provide consumers a secure and seamless way to pay for items.

Consumers and retailers just got a sneak peek into the future of shopping during the Money2020 event in Las Vegas. The AR shopping experience not only included a way to browse items and and read about product details—it also included a checkout process that uses your eyes for authentication.

The project—which combines MasterCard, ODG, and Qualcomm technologies—promises to give you a richer and hands-free shopping experience that transcends any type of existing in-store or online shopping experience.

The shopping experience leverages three key components:

  • Masterpass, the digital payment service from MasterCard, along with Identity Check Mobile, which uses biometrics for payment authorization.
  • ODG’s R-9 Smartglasses to deliver an AR experience with extra-wide-field-of-view and enhanced iris tracking cameras.
  • Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform running the Snapdragon XR SDK and iris authentication technology with liveliness detection.

In the experience, you put digital items in your shopping cart. When you’re ready to pay, you simply use Masterpass and go through a secure process that includes iris authentication software to verify that you really are the one trying to buy these goods. After completing your purchase, the item(s) can be shipped directly to your home or picked up from participating stores.

“The more that AR is used to market a product, and the more that retailers embrace the technology for in-store marketing, [the more] consumers [feel] secure about using AR as part of the checkout process,” said Assistant Professor of Marketing at Western Washington University Mark Staton in an interview with VRScout.

The idea of consumers using technology to enhance their shopping experience isn’t new.

According to the second annual consumer study commission by Salsify, nearly 77% of shoppers already look up product information and prices through a smartphone app while in-store. A great example of this is Target’s Cartwheel app, which lets you scan items in your cart using your smartphone to access instant savings at checkout.

But this AR experience doesn’t use a smartphone. Instead it leverages AR from ODG’s R-9 Smartglasses. The glasses-based system offers a much richer and more immersive viewing experience with high-resolution photo-realistic imagery than mobile phone. ODG’s dual stereoscopic see-through displays and 5MP cameras allow you to see the products in a degree of depth not possible online or via smartphone.

“Retailers want to get to consumers in the most efficient way possible,” Staton said. “If AR helps in increased margins, then retailer stores will absolutely embrace this idea.”

ODG Media Communications Lead Beth Handoll explained that, though this was presented as a demo, it won’t necessarily stay that way.

“At the moment this is just a proof-of-concept demonstration, but retailers are showing signs of interest and this could be integrated into retail stores as early as 2018,” Handoll said.

About the Scout

Bobby Carlton

Hello, my name is Bobby Carlton. When I'm not exploring the world of immersive technology, I'm writing rock songs about lost love. I'd also like to mention that I can do 25 push-ups in a row.

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