What will be a shopping mall in the future? It might be a community

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I like to go to shopping malls when I have a spare time.  There are restaurants, supermarkets, retail clothing, electrical equipment shops,  book stores, movie theaters, and so on.  Then I am wondering what will be a shape of shopping malls in the future.

 

1. Why do we need “real” shopping malls?

When we are busy and have no time to go shopping,  we would like to use e-commerce, such as Amazon.com.  So why should we go to a shopping mall?  The reason is that we would like to enjoy walking in big malls, seeing products, touching them physically and meeting friends there.  Shopping malls are good places to meet people as they are air-conditioned, located at convenient places such as near stations, have big parking lots.  In order to keep attracting people to shopping malls,  it should motivate people to come there.  Strategies might be different from countries.  In developing countries such as ASEAN countries,  new facilities and malls might be good motivators for people to go there. On the other hand, in developed countries such as Japan, shopping malls are in tough competitions each other.  It is getting harder to survive in the competition.  Populations of some of developed countries including Japan and Korea are decreasing gradually. Therefore, it is difficult to keep the number of people to come to shopping malls in the long run.  Only new facilities are not enough to compete in  developing countries’ markets.

 

2. How can the frequency of visiting shopping malls be increased?

The more frequently people are coming to the mall, the more people purchase products there. The problem is how people can be motivated to come to shopping malls consistently in the long period. I think a kind of mechanism should be introduced.  In order to encourage people to come to shopping malls,  many events are needed.  For example, amateur band performance contests,  kids programming contests,  digital art museums,  touring experience corners.  Digital technologies should be used at every event.  Amateur band performances might be broadcasted lively through the internet to mobile applications of members of shopping malls.  Kids programming contests can be held among several shopping malls by connecting each of them by the internet.  3D digital arts can be projected at super-high resolution level.  Virtual Reality enables us experience to go anywhere in the world.  These are just examples. There might be many innovations in the future. By supporting digital technologies,  Events could be held in parallel with  other events in a big shopping mall.  Each floor can have different events to motivate people to come there.  Therefore, combinations of many events should be optimized so that more people can enjoy them. I would like to call it  “Event portfolio management”.  To maximize the number of people coming to shopping malls, the best combinations of events should be identified. Costs, spaces and time allocations should be optimized to do that.  This is done by “Event portfolio optimization” with digital technologies.

 

3.  New services will emerge to support older people and busy mothers

When you do not come to shopping malls by car,  it is difficult to buy a lot of heavy products and bring them to your house.  In such case,  drones might bring them to your house instead of you. It is a good service for me because I do not drive a car in KL.  I do not need to worry about heavy products and continue to walk and enjoy events in shopping malls. This might be good! When I am getting older, it is almost impossible to bring heavy products by myself so I definitely need this service!  In addition to that,  young mothers may have a hard time to go shopping with many kids. Therefore, small entertainment facilities for kids might be needed. Mothers can take their kids there and go shopping alone.  These facilities will take care kids when Mothers are shopping.  There are a lot of virtual “puppets” so kids cannot be boring.  Kids’ behavior can be monitored and transmitted to Mother’s mobile devices so that mothers can be noticed what their kids are doing.  Everyone can be happy there!

 

Shopping malls are not just hardware.  These are communities for people to gather,  enjoy,  be satisfied with.  Therefore new entertainments and innovations are always needed going forward.  Supported by digital technologies,  they might be changed to satisfy us more and more. It must be exciting, isn’t it?

 

 

Note: Toshifumi Kuga’s opinions and analyses are personal views and are intended to be for informational purposes and general interest only and should not be construed as individual investment advice or solicitation to buy, sell or hold any security or to adopt any investment strategy.  The information in this article is rendered as at publication date and may change without notice and it is not intended as a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any country, region market or investment.

Data from third-party sources may have been used in the preparation of this material and I, Author of the article has not independently verified, validated such data. I and TOSHI STATS.SDN.BHD. accept no liability whatsoever for any loss arising from the use of this information and relies upon the comments, opinions and analyses in the material is at the sole discretion of the user. 

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Could you be a fashion model in virtual reality, near future?

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I found that nice short movie, 1 on YouTube.  It looks real world because I felt that I was inside the room. But it is a kind of artificial world created based on a few real images.  This technology is a little complicated.  In short, we can create a 3D world  from 2D data as shown in the movie. It is amazing!

 

According to this paper, 2 this movie created by an artificial intelligence by Google. This system is called “Deep stereo”.  When we look at Google street view, we do not feel this looks real because these images are limited by angles where they are taken.  In order to make it look real,  deep stereo synthesizes original images which are taken from several different angles and fill out the missing parts. It is said that “To our knowledge, our work is the first to apply deep learning to the problem of new view synthesis from sets of real world, natural imagery.” in the paper.

 

スクリーンショット 2015-07-15 11.09.06

The figure above is taken from the paper (p3). When we have pictures taken from angles of V1 and V2,  we can synthesize them to create the image seen from position C.  It needs a lot of computations so it takes time to be completed. It should be improved in terms of speed if this technology is used in a real-time basis, according to the paper.

 

It means that when we have a few photos about one object, we might create our artificial world which looks so real.  For example, when you have your own photos in new fashion, you could create your promotional video as a 3D movie.  We could consider many applications.  In restaurants, we could have electronic menus where each dish looks so real.   For travel industries, they could present courses of journeys as if we could experience unknown real world.  For real estate industries, they could provide the experience inside houses to potential buyers before it starts being constructed.

 

Therefore, this technology has huge potentials.  Artificial intelligence is currently used for machine translation, face recognition, autonomous-driving and so on.  This synthesized world creation is also expected to develop rapidly because big IT companies, such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft are investing a lot money in technologies of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.  These are expected to make huge markets in the future.

 

Now many people enjoy taking their own pictures by themselves.  We might create a 3D world based on these pictures in the future. We could zoom in and out with angles, which are different from angles where pictures were taken. So everyone could create a promotional video for him/herself.  Is it fun, isn’t it?

 

Source

1.  Google’s ‘Deep Stereo’ could transform Street View into an immersive digital world,  YouTube, 7 July 2015

2. DeepStereo: Learning to Predict New Views from the World’s Imagery, arXiv:1506.06825, 22 June 2015

 

 

Note: Toshifumi Kuga’s opinions and analyses are personal views and are intended to be for informational purposes and general interest only and should not be construed as individual investment advice or solicitation to buy, sell or hold any security or to adopt any investment strategy.  The information in this article is rendered as at publication date and may change without notice and it is not intended as a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any country, region market or investment.

Data from third-party sources may have been used in the preparation of this material and I, Author of the article has not independently verified, validated such data. I accept no liability whatsoever for any loss arising from the use of this information and relies upon the comments, opinions and analyses in the material is at the sole discretion of the user.