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It’s Time for All Apps to Be Product-Aware

Almost every significant app or website understands location these days. Lots of interesting location-aware applications have been purpose​ly​ built for everything from turn-by-turn directions to real estate merchandizing to fitness to travel and exploration. Many apps automatically detect what looks like an address and links that directly to a map.

What are the possibilities if apps and websites are able to automatically recognize and link to products?

You could automatically tag product mentions on Twitter or Instagram and add a ​B​uy Now​ button. You could make video shoppable with the right product tags. You could ask an AI shopping agent to buy you your favorite pair of shoes, via a messaging app. You could request ad serving engines to present specific types of ads – for products you’re interested in. Apps will become ​P​roduct​-A​ware.

So the interesting question is, when is all this going to happen? It’s happening now. Kip the shopping botSnipSnap coupon awarenessThe North Face’s Watson powered product searchBooodl’s smart local shopping​, TrendBrew’s next gen social commerce network,​ and “Buy Now” buttons by Revolabs are early examples of the power of ​P​roduct A​wareness.

Then the real question is​,​ when will a significant portion of apps (and most software) be​come P​roduct​-A​ware? I think it’s likely by the end of this decade. Mostly because,
1) the technology is getting more powerful and simpler, very fast,
2) there is an economic incentive to make your app ​P​roduct-A​ware and,
3) consumers are increasingly comfortable with these enabling technologies.

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