Virtual Market Research: The Future of Design?

CITES Classroom and Conference Media Engineering

Shopping cart with mouseLiving in the digital age, we see advances in computer technology every day. Each new improvement in hardware or software allows for people to solve existing problems in novel and increasingly efficient ways. More specifically, this constant evolution of technology allows for the combination of originally independent solutions/inventions into groundbreaking capabilities. Such has been the case with the invention of 3D printing, wearables (i.e. Google Glass, Pebble Smartwatch), and self-driven vehicles respectively. Companies have repeatedly enjoyed success by using innovative software solutions to optimize the use of tangible, every-day objects and environments.

A new industry based on this same kind of hardware-software synergy has emerged within the past 5 years. Traditionally, market research companies have assisted retail stores by performing studies on a set group of consumer participants. Retail companies then use this information to more efficiently design store layouts and market products to consumers. Nowadays, these same…

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