Target and Toys R Us posted overall sales declines during the holidays.
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Shust points to such groundbreaking programs as Google Goggles and Amazon Flow, which use image recognition to return mobile content, as harbingers of things to come—and wonders why Microsoft isn’t already hot on the concept.
“These programs are predicting a future in which we will just point the camera in our devices at anything we want more information about and we will get it instantaneously,” he says. “I think that this layer of functionality will eventually exist at the hardware level so we won’t have to launch a specific app to get at it. I’m surprised that Microsoft, with the technology it has at its disposal, isn’t making more of a push in that direction.”