China’s biggest e-commerce website plans to virtually transform 1,500 vacant lots around the country into augmented reality supermarkets. It’s a cheap and near-instantaneous way to use dead space in cities. Each one of Yihaodian‘s AR supermarkets will take up 1,200 “real” square meters, and have about 1,000 products each. Customers will wander around using their smart phones as an interface to buy items, and get their purchases delivered at home.
Unlike Korea’s AR shopping on subway platforms, Yihaodian’s stores seem to require that shoppers go out of their way to look for items that could just as easily be purchased online. Because of this, we’re a little skeptical about the life of this idea beyond its novelty as a marketing stunt. To really draw the crowds to empty areas, AR pop-ups would have to offer something exclusive: products, art, or checkpoints in a city-wide game that sends people swarming over the streets to earn discounts.
Via Pop Up City