Apple Store 2.0 is here

As rumoured today Apple replaced traditional paper price tags with iPads. I went to my local Apple Store in Brighton to check it out. I was lucky that the store wasn’t too busy so I was able to take a few pictures.

The iPads are incased in solid blocks of transparent plastic. You can check specs, compare different models or price plans if it’s an iPhone or an iPad. Also you can see support plans and other information. Interacting with such screen feels like an obvious and organic thing to do and you don’t get a feel as if it’s a cool tech demo but not really practical. There is a wealth of useful information to explore, it’s so much better then the old paper tags/signs.

Killer feature of course is ability to call Specialist right from the device. In the past I could spend a very long time in the busy Apple Store trying to get help, but it looks like it’s going to be a thing of the past now. Retail stuff were excited about new displays too and a very kind Specialist showed me how the feature works. When you call for assistance ‘Specialist’ button changes to ‘You are in the queue.’ and ‘Let’s meet here.’ with text animation similar to slide to unlock on iOS lock screen. Specialists can then see the list of calls on their iPod Touch-based EasyPay devices. I’m not sure if Specialists have to check manually or if they are notified with push messages. This will definitely improve retail experience of a lot of people.

There are a few other things to note:

  • All the iPads are black;
  • iPads reset back to the first screen after a few minutes of inactivity;
  • It doesn’t look like anything is connected to the Dock connector on the right, so the cable might run through the back panel;
  • Pressing home button doesn’t seem to do anything.

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