China's supermarket chain is about to open augmented reality stores
What you see in the announcement photo is not just empty shelves. And this is not a shop plundered by hungry Chinese. No, there are goods in this store, but they simply cannot be seen with the naked eye. The management of the Chinese brand Yihaodian (supermarket chain) plans to open as many as 1000 stores with “augmented reality” shelves, where there are no real goods, but virtual goods.
If you thought that this is a purely virtual store, something like Street View, where you can buy observed objects, are mistaken. This is a real store where the viewing of goods and purchases are carried out using mobile devices. As planned, the buyer goes to the store and points the camera of the mobile device on the shelves to see the goods put up for sale. When the buyer likes something, he sends the goods to the virtual basket, and the goods are delivered home to the customer.
As you can see, everything is simple and at the same time complicated. One could understand the opening of one or two of these stores, as a test. But a thousand ... Yes, and common sense suggests that there are several difficulties. Firstly, you still need to go to the store with your feet, and not through the browser. Secondly, the buyer must have a mobile device with a camera, and sufficiently advanced so that you can install the augmented reality application there. Maybe Chinese merchants, therefore, want to attract representatives of more or less affluent segments of the population to stores (although a good phone is not a guarantee of belonging to such a layer, many people take expensive phones for almost 5 years on credit).
And if you go to a store, a real store, you want to see the product with your own eyes. Of course, a virtual product can look perfect, as if it were the best products in the world. But it is never known what will bring you home.
In any case, the idea is interesting, and I would like to see its development in the future.