TourWrist Is Retail's New Killer App

Quick Summary

The Tour Wrist app is to panoramic images what Flickr is to photos. It’s the retail industry’s new ‘killer app’ because of its multiple uses and low cost.

Tour Wrist images are information rich. Instead of a single image Tour Wrist shows a sequence of images—in any order the viewer wants to see them. The sensation you get is that you’re actually in the store, not just looking at a static image of it. Looking at your smart phone or iPad (you see much more detail on a larger screen), whichever way you turn, the images pans with you. Tilt the phone down to see what’s on the floor. Spin left and the image follows left. Look up and see the ceiling. Tour Wrist relies on the accelerometers and gyroscopes built into many smartphones to produce the effect. The technology also works well on a traditional display relying on the click of the mouse or swipe of a finger.

Now, retailers can get past 2D-only representations of their products and environments. Here are some ways retailers can use Tourwrist to improve the customer experience—and the bottom line—at the same time:


  • Take a store tour
  • Get a glimpse of merchandise in-house right now (great for stores with many small items or changing merchandise)
  • See details (paintings, clothes, tools) using Tour Wrist’s zoom feature you’d normally have to go to the store to see (I know, some retailers like people to come into the stores—all customers prefer having the choice!)

Remote Managers

  • Check on planogram accuracy
  • Ensure store is clean and well-stocked
  • Check on construction in-progress, avoiding the expensive of misunderstood drawings or late openings


Vendors and Consultants

  • Gather valuable store-by-store data for reports and analysis
  • Speed the data capture part of the engagement
  • Use Tour Wrist for before/after projects (design, environmentals, new displays, wayfinding, product launches)
  • Report to clients on completed installations
  • Capture neighborhood data on prospective locations (Tour Wrist works equally well out-of-doors)

How It Works
In August, the price of the photographic gear is expected to drop from $3,000 a DSLR to an iPhone4 plus an $80 snap-on device from GoPano.

Just attach the lens to the iPhone…

The GoPano attachment actually records motion video in 360°. Hold your iPhone straight up and down with the round part of the device parallel to the ground and it captures everything around you. Notice that the user in the example below is viewing himself while recording—not the girl in a white dress moving in front of him.

Together, Tour Wrist and GoPano offer retailers the opportunity to share and enrich the shopping experience in almost countless ways. Offering 360° video on an affordable hosting platform with almost no startup barriers gives this technology a real shot at establishing a new image capture/distribution standard.

It’s up to Retail Customer Experience readers to exploit these concepts to everyone’s advantage. Whatever your retail interest, from window design to supply chain to merchandising, you can find new new ways to create value for your customers, your employees, and your shareholders.

Under The Covers

  • Tour Wrist offers a fully-featured hosting, advertising, and custom branding software platform tourwrist.
  • The 360 camera comes from GoPano, due to release it’s first product at the end of May, 2011.
  • Crowd-sourced funding for the GoPano solution comes from KickStarter.

What’s Good

  • Tour Wrist has a fully-extendable hosting platform which will make 360° store and department videos sharable worldwide.
  • There will be a free app for retailers.
  • The hardware is extremely low cost.
  • Each video is geo-coded when uploaded so you can see what’s where.
  • The Tour Wrist interface can be customized to suit the needs of brands and stores.

What’s Not So Good

  • GoPano’s Initial funding is low. That may slow scaling of this new image type.

What I Would Do

  • Encourage non-traditional development in retail to discover highest and best uses.
  • Supply case study writers to document early successes.
  • Get these two companies working together.
  • Encourage your internal developers to check out the Tour Wrist API coming out in June, 2011.
  • Enable consultants to help speed adoption of various applications.
  • Create story kits to make sharing the tourwrist/gopano story easy for bloggers and writers

TourWrist has now become Sphere (now available on the Apple app store).


By | 2017-05-01T20:09:24-04:00 May 16th, 2011|CX Tech, Experience Design, Reviews|4 Comments

About the Author:

Mike founded StoryMiners in 2002 as one of the world's first story and customer experience design firms. 750+ project later, the firms know how to help leaders get their stories straight. And, express them as experiences their customers rave about. A certified consultant, speaker, and experience designer, Mike has helped his clients earn nearly $2 billion from improvements in sales, operations, service design, and brand management. Mike is a graduate of Arizona State/Thunderbird (MBA) and the University of Florida (BA). He has also spent two years overseas, learning Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian along the way. #experience design #story #storymining #speaker #strategy #facilitator #keynotespeaker #designthinking #custexp #travel #woodworking