Tesco’s Home Plus recently converted Seoul's Hangangjin subway station into a virtual store. It’s a shopping experience, targeting time-poor commuters, that lets you buy selected goods through mock up stock shelf posters lining the train platforms. Simply select the items you want by capturing the related QR codes on your phone, press send and your shopping is delivered to your home the same day.
This is a great example of using QR codes as a tool to expand your business without expanding your physical footprint and by far the best commercial, consumer-facing use of QR code technology we’ve seen yet. But are QR codes already becoming outdated?
Try scanning this code.
Augmented reality (AR) has been waiting in the wings and is soon to go mainstream. Autonomy’s Aurasma is a new smartphone app that bridges the gap ‘between the physical and virtual worlds’. By simply pointing their smartphone cameras at an item, consumers can access related information and promotions overlaid on the screen and even purchase the product with a click of the shutter. The application already ‘recognises’ more than half a million objects and images in the real world.
Autonomy is getting Aurasma out there. FT, The New York Times, BBC, New Scientist, Universal are just some of the partners and places where they’ve already appeared or featured content. In June the company signed a deal to feature the Aurasma logo on Tottenham Hotspur shirts for the 2011-2012 season so we can expect some nice interactive brand related AR content and features for the fans.
It’s an easy to use platform that allows you to generate your own augmented reality content or Auras that are either tied to a specific image (Anywheres) or a particular location (Happenings). You can also subscribe to topic related Channels that will single out Anywheres relevant to you or direct you towards the nearest appropriate Happening. Whilst it still relatively basic at the moment the applications and uses are fast becoming more sophisticated and intelligent.
In the not so distant future we can expect to spend much more time navigating through the real world watching overlaid content on our phone. Surely it’s only a matter of time before we are all walking through the street wearing AR glasses.