From housing your favorite music collection to communicating across the globe, technological innovations have made nearly every aspect of the consumer lifestyle easier. Now, a couple of new technologies are about to make the defining action of a consumer — shopping — faster and more convenient than ever.
Today technology contributor Becky Worley joined "Good Morning America" to help explain two breakthrough techs that could transform your shopping trips. Magic? Quite possibly.
Purchases With the Wave of a Cell Phone
With the advent of online shopping, millions of Americans have forsaken the all-too-real check-out lines and hassles and have opted for the ease of virtual purchasing.
And as more and more Americans are accessing the Internet with cell phones, some retailers are adjusting.
"Currently only about 3 percent of Americans have made a purchase on [a cell phone]," Worley told "GMA." "But clothing outfitter Ralph Lauren is taking a big step to make your phone a shopping center on the go."
Ralph Lauren, known for its preppy clothing lines, will feature ads in its catalogues this month that can be scanned by many cell phones' cameras, allowing the items to be purchased on the spot.
"Shopping is about instant gratification, whether you're flipping through a magazine or newspaper, watching something on TV or going to a store window," David Lauren, son of Ralph Lauren, told "GMA." "Now if you can get something that's a luxury and get it right away, that's the ultimate combination."
According to Worley, in Japan the practice is already wildly popular and has expanded so that the bar codelike symbols are featured on billboards and cars, even temporary tattoos and gravestones.
Another brand-new technology application, introduced by the Manhattan interactive design firm Icon Nicholson, is the Magic Mirror, a device that can turn any solo shopping trip into "social retailing."
In Icon Nicholson's future, after a shopper has picked out some clothing, they hop into a dressing room equipped with the Magic Mirror and begin live streaming to the Internet as they try on each outfit.
Next, friends and family can check out the shopper's selections and comment, without ever being in the store. The mirror may be able to bridge the gap between fashion and the popular realm of social networking.
"Someone walks in the store and they interact with the mirror. That's part of our social retailing system," said Joseph Olewitz of Icon Nicholson. "They tell it to 'Invite my friends.' The system invites their friends, and their friends participate remotely via live real-time video."