Westfield Labs is partnering with eBay this Christmas to offer the world a sneak peek at the shopping centre of the future. And it's just a bunch of touchscreens.
Sony, Toms and Rebecca Minkoff are all simulating the experience of shopping online by offering digital storefronts that amount to heavily branded kiosks where you can order stuff that will then be delivered to your house. After all, why shop online from the comfort of your own home, when you can simply drive to the shopping centre, fight for a parking spot, walk inside amongst the crowds of families and children, wait in line for a while, and then punch in your order on a touchscreen, before turning around and driving back home again?
Think of it this way: Shopping centres will have to find some use for all that real estate when people forget how to buy things from other people. Turning into giant touchscreens is at least one attempt to save themselves.