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Brief Published: 1 May 2014

Awear App: Scan-&-Buy Street Shopping


A new app from Israeli technology start-up Awear Solutions aims to turn the street into an ever-changing store – by allowing consumers to precisely identify and purchase fashion items worn by people up to 30 ft away.

Awear relies on embedding smartphone-scannable chips into clothing, providing users who have downloaded the app with shareable product information, images, and location-based availability. Crucially, it also allows spontaneous impulse purchases in-app – users don’t have to be redirected to a separate e-commerce site.

To entice brands to get involved, the app provides real-time data on how often and where their products are being noticed, and the subsequent conversions. It also encourages ongoing customer relationships by allowing brands to tailor offers based on individuals’ interests.

The technology was first showcased during an ‘egg hunt’ in partnership with US fashion brand DKNY at its flagship New York store on Easter Monday (April 21). By tapping on a DKNY Easter egg icon within the Awear app, users were able to navigate their way around the store in search of a mystery chipped item; as they searched, the app provided ‘hotter’ and ‘colder’ prompts. A full launch is planned for 2015.

A major potential benefit for brands is that unlike similar apps that use image recognition tools to identify products – providing approximations of the item, but not accurate details of the specific brand – Awear offers a direct link between the street and the e-store. It’s not all plain sailing of course; for the app to work, it would require all brands involved to embrace (and embed) specific Awear chips into all their products.

For more on the future of retailing far beyond the store environment, see our Anywhere Retailing Industry Trend. For an in-depth look at how brands are tracking consumer data, see Data Tracking.