The Microsoft- and Accenture-owned IT company's new solution allows consumers to select items promoted on interactive screens and then "drag and drop" them into their mobile phone using simple hand gestures, to collect detailed information about a product or add it to a shopping basket.
IT consulting company Avanade, a subsidiary of Accenture that is part owned by Microsoft, has developed an interactive shopping solution called Grab & Go that combines NFC, QR codes, augmented reality and the Kinect for Windows motion sensor technology that was first developed for Xbox games.
The solution enables users to view and select products from a main screen and then transfer items to their mobile device for review or purchase, all with a Minority Report-style swipe of the hand.
Consumers stand in front of the screen and then tap their Windows Phone 8 device to a tag or scan a QR code to enable Grab & Go to connect with their device and launch a web application on their phone. They can then use simple hand gestures to point to items of interest and have them transferred to their mobile phone.
A video filmed at Mobile World Congress 2013, where the solution was first demonstrated, shows Grab & Go in action:
"What we've done in recent demos, including the one at Mobile World Congress, is to showcase how this technology could work based on a particular scenario," Avanade's Steve Butcher told NFC World.
"We can take that to a second step though. The user could move to a different sales kiosk and tap their phone to a NFC tag there to transfer their session to a call centre," he adds.
"We'd use Microsoft Lync to dial the call centre where a sales operative could fill in all the information about their new tariff and plan. The user could sign on a tablet in front of them before returning all the information to their phone as a receipt with another tap."
Butcher believes that this scenario is just one of many possibilities though. "It's a fairly simple idea of transferring data back and forth so there's a wide range of possibilities on where it could be implemented," he explains.
"We're currently talking to other industries like travel, banking and hospitality. You might enter a travel agent such as Thomas Cook and want to find out details on a holiday to the Caribbean.
"Potentially, the Grab & Go technology could be used here when all sales advisors are busy, for instance. The customer could use the device to find out information and transfer it to their phone for use when speaking to an advisor at another time or at home."
The system fully integrates with current IT retail environments and is very easy to scale, allowing it to be quickly rolled out to multiple locations, says Avanade.