Wednesday, September 4, 2013

eBay v.2030: Shopping Upgraded....

“Hey dad, my iPhone 50C hasn't arrived yet….” – My geeky son seemed to be rather annoyed as he slowly walked down to me. His accuracy level with respect to predicting the exact delivery timings has been immaculate till date; in-fact e-Bay has already specified their Service levels in-case of an unlikely delay in delivery. Those stringent time-lines have been practically adhered to for most of the occasions till now. Exception? No!

“When did you order the stuff? There might have been a technical glitch nevertheless…” - I calmly retorted. I was very close to solving the e-Sudoku; didn't want to stem the flow.
“It’s been 10 minutes already; they had categorically mentioned 12 on their website….does it take so long to reach India from their headquarters in the US?” – He didn't seem to be too amused. I was!
“Whoa…what!?... 12 minutes for a shipment delivery straight from the US! Wait! Wait…Kolkata hasn't transformed into London yet, the distance still remains the same….….and you saying......they are late? Are you kidding me? Unbelievable” – I was literally flabbergasted. This kid was riding deep into dreamland; I guess, too much of gaming & social networking has pre-occupied a 'substantial zone' of his brain, eluding him… short, he was out of his mind. I threw away my kindle in astonishment; those words were shocking enough. 
“Should I take him to the doctor immediately?” – I was fighting with myself, deep within.

And he stood there quietly in the corner, with a blank look on his face.....; his trance was perhaps broken. PERHAPS!'

PIN DROP Silence….

“Come on speak up….”- I was literally fuming by then….but he was dead silent. His eyes were pointing straight to me, gutting me with the 'shine'... those expressive eyes.

The one sided articulation ended with a hysteric laughter.
“Hahaha…let me show you then”- he conjectured in a light-hearted tone & slowly brought out his pocket laptop….

What unfurled in front of me was literally unbelievable…..

He quickly logged into the mini system, connected it to the Wi-Fi network & launched the browser; a solitary click on the top right hand corner of the window transported me in to another word al-together.

“This is eBay v.2030 …the ultimate shopping destination….you can try, test, verify, validate and then purchase a product of your choice”- He looked super-excited as he switched on to the Haptic mode. Could you believe it?

Gosh the entire set of items were virtually floating right in-front of our eyes, we could feel them, touch them, try them & even virtually talk to their sellers; the incognito mode could be activated if you wanted to buy a product as a visitor, concealing identity.
We resorted NOT to register again, but to track the order through the “visitor voice recognition mode”. The sampling module used for recording, analyzing the voice samples and extracting their key parameters to form a base-line of comparison- Marvelous indeed!

“Check this out”- the vibrant teen seemed to be completely into it….”This is the one I ordered”!
The dazzling iPhone 50C replica was distinctly visible…. "The iPhone 50C" can you imagine!
“Can I touch it?”- The spirit of curiosity got the better of me.
“Of course….here’s the key….you only get it after order confirmation; try it Dad; it is absolutely free”- he giggled and entered the 10 digit password to unlock the virtual replica. It was a fantastic turn around really; I could actually perform a preliminary “first-hand analysis” before I decided to purchase it. In-fact the sellers’ are online 24x7 to address to all the consumer related doubts visually & with the audio enabled mode. No surprises there, because 90 percent of the individual agency-representation have now been automated, they are driven by Robots. They hardly needed a fraction of a second to answer to your queries.

“Dad, I bet you’ll be interested in this section”- Asserted my son, as he instantaneously clicked on to the Barter v.2030 tab. Goodness me; eBay has addressed to yet another vitally important aspect; the aspect that caters to recycling and re-sale; the barter system has been effectively revisited & re-incarnated. For barter, reverse visualization would be utilized, so that there's a one to one correspondence in terms of quality control.

“Exchange your 'SungSam Galaxy Ultra Mega' with a brand new 'Galaxy Milky Way' with a single click…..Delivery charges applicable”…. The notification read! THUMPING INDEED.... WOW- I BET this segment is certainly a Super HIT! Upgrading your existing mobile phone, by paying just the delivery charges, that is something really extraordinary. It has an offline application module as well, to save your order details in the circumstances of internet-connection fluctuations. That addresses to the common "payment authentication failure hazards".

“Well if you are not in a mood to click, the voice sampling would help immensely”- The knowledgeable young-man activated the “pattern recognition mode”….the mode that not only reads & decodes voice, but is equipped with retina scanning, finger print & hand-writing recognition module.

“It creates a prototype, based on your first login....”- He explained – “And the next time onwards, they’ll have a set of pre-defined product-bucket, based on an underlying order extricated out of your previous selection. I was literally surprised to find that the iPhone 50C was already dangling right in front of my eyes even before I actually selected it. Whoa! Class”….. He went on with the flow & literally dragged me into it. Honestly, eBay has formulated a spectacle; it’s like a private dream-catching machine that literally extracts those dreams and presents them categorically in front of your eyes. Magic isn't it?

“Technology, Dad, technology….”- He seemed to have decoded my mind too. Indeed it is!

“Let’s head to the fashion section….”- He continued his demonstration, he was smooth and lucid in expression; the progress was well-defined and well fabricated, had a logical flow assigned to it….”Look, I have picked up 7 different apparels & related accessories from the different brands and assimilated them together….” - He elucidated, as the “already saved” or "draft ensemble" appeared on the floating monitor. He virtually picked up a Woodland hunter boot and placed it at the bottom of the window to create a hypothetical self-replica, simulated and dressed up exactly according to the envisaged ensemble. "Holds good for the electronic products too, you can create an online "assembled" product through the Haptic mode...."- He managed to draw a logical comparison there.

“WARNING! Choice MISMATCH” – The ‘exception’ alert signified that the selected product didn't fit into the groove and a list of “CLOSE MATCHES” were immediately displayed.
“PUMA Sneakers…Interesting!”- I stepped on to the stage, selecting my favorite brand from the drop-down menu.

“ENSEMBLE COMPLETE, YOU CAN PROCEED TO CHECKOUT NOW!” – The system asserted. That's appreciable machine intelligence my friend; finding a logical match amid-st millions of combinations constructed out of the products available in the site. Regular updation,  in sync with the altering trends has also been catered to.

“Yippee….”- It was difficult to control the level of excitement, but then, when your son is standing right beside, you got-to take a “measured approach”.Sigh.I restrained my emotions.

Oh WAIT! Did I miss out on something? Am I getting carried away? 
I quickly brought myself back.

“Where did you get the money? 50C is pretty costly…And how did you pay? You don’t have a credit card.”- My heart-beat gained the speed of light…I was missing out on this one.
“Relax dad….I haven’t selected the COD mode…:D Look here…”- He was as cool as a cucumber. He promptly clicked on the Loyalty Programme Section and the rest was self-explanatory….”I have earned digital wallet points by ‘voicing’ product reviews, comparisons & by writing technology blogs….the balance amount was paid through the e-Vouchers won through the Indiblogger's online contest.” 
Goodness me. I never knew that my son had a blog too; following Dad’s footprint eh! I was happy & contended deep inside…something was VERY RIGHT about that moment.

“TRING”…..The door-bell rang, interrupting the sense of gratification.
“Now? Arrgh! Let me see…..”- I rushed towards the main entrance 'to greet' the unwanted visitor. I was so engrossed with the entire scheme of things; and with the bell “intruding into” my thought process, I hated it to the core. The bell rang again. DAMN.

“Hello Sir, Robo Tiramisu reporting from eBay…here’s your parcel….” – The creature uttered.

I don’t remember anything after that.....those curtains of impenetrable darkness had descended right in-front of my eyes.....

The shock was big enough; when I recovered, I could see my son sitting right in-front of me- “Dad, I did forget to tell you that eBay has already adopted the super-sonic ‘Robotic Drone’ delivery mechanism, much before the other counterparts, that's innovation, pace & efficiency personified!” – His voice sounded so comforting.

“Did they deliver on time?” – I struggled through my words.
“He was exactly 50 seconds late…owing to a mid-air traffic congestion, look at the compensation by the way”- eBay shopping vouchers worth INR 5k dangled out of the virtual wallet.
“INR 1K for every 10 seconds of delay as per their SLA policy”- My son giggled. 

*This post has been written as a part of the "Future of Shopping" contest by indiblogger in association with eBay. You can install the eBay shopping extension by accessing the link: eBay extension ; stay updated with the latest online offers with eBay.

* My experience with robot-driven delivery has been depicted through an older post hereDo check it out. The clamping system is of prime importance; I see a future in 'em.

* The characters depicted in this post are hypothetical; since this post depicts shopping in 2030, I guess, if things go right, I might have a techie kid by then. Joking. 

* The images have been invariably hired from google baba; yeah the interest rates are increasing day by day, I know :P . And yes, shopping is NOT just a woman's forte, and if it is, I am a glorious exception.

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