Tesco launches Google Glass app to complement digital experience

By Jennifer Faull | Deputy Editor

January 13, 2015 | 3 min read

Tesco Labs, the retailer’s innovation arm, has released a Google Glass app in its first foray into wearable technology.

The app, called Tesco Grocery, lets users who are signed into their Tesco.com accounts to browse goods, view nutritional information and add items to their shopping basket via the voice search function or by scanning a product’s barcode using the headset’s in-built camera.

Users are then able to review and order by computer, tablet or mobile.

For example, if they are in a restaurant and want to order the ingredients in the meal they can voice search and add them to a basket. Or, if they are at home and want to replace a product they can scan the barcode.

Pablo Coberly, innovation engineer at Tesco Labs explained that it was never built to act as a standalone commerce platform but instead work in tandem with the rest of its online offering.

“Its functionality is different, and more immediate. It complements other devices and integrates shopping into everyday life because products can be ordered or added as and when customers realise they need replacing,” he said.

It is the first British retailer to roll out an app for the device, which is still not available to the general public, and will inform its approach to developing products for the wearable sector in the future.

Coberly continued: “At Tesco we want to ensure we have the means in place to allow customers to shop whenever, however they want which is why we’re testing the possibilities of customers topping up their online basket with Glass.

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“We’ve intentionally kept functionality very basic given the early stages of customer use of Glass. We’re keen to see how customers react to shopping with Glassware and welcome feedback or suggestions from customers using Glass.”

Glass users can install Tesco Grocery Glassware through MyGlass on their mobile device or desktop.

Tesco declined to comment on how much was invested in developing the app but the annoucement of its release comes after chief executive Dave Lewis revealed a £250m cost-cutting plan to appease investors following an accounting scandal last year.

Over 40 of its worst performing stores will be axed in the coming year while its head offices will be consolidated. At the time of the annoucement last week (8 January) Lewis refused to comment on how many jobs would be lost as a result of the closures.

It also sold off its online streaming service, Blinkbox, to TalkTalk and is currently in talks regarding the future of Dunnhumby, the data company behind ClubCard.

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