Empty urban spaces in China are being used by companies for mcommerce to enhance food sales.
Augmented reality is being used in a unique way in China in order to help to transform vacant lots into a much more practical and usable space by taking advantage of the opportunity to sell groceries.
These spaces are often a struggle for cities around the world, but technology could change that.
While some cities deal with these empty spaces by allowing urban gardeners to practice their art, China is providing the largest food e-commerce site with the ability to use these locations to create augmented reality virtual stores. This massive project will be taking place in cities across the country.
The augmented reality supermarkets will be opened up by YiHaoDian in many Chinese cities.
These stores won’t include any brick and mortar elements. In fact, there will be 1,000 augmented reality grocery stores popping out throughout China without the use of physical buildings. Each of the stores – some of which were already created by the end of 2012, are visible only through AR technology and the proper app.
By using the online supermarket’s Android or iPhone App, any smartphone or tablet user can see the stores that take up the nearly four thousand square foot spaces. By holding the devices up in these locations, users can take advantage of this mcommerce opportunity and purchase any of the approximately 1,000 food products, which would then be delivered within a day or two, to the designated shipping address.
All of the augmented reality shops are found within vacant lots in the areas that the grocery store has deemed to be iconic, within the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. Though this is a first through the use of AR technology, similar mcommerce grocery stores based on QR codes have been springing up all over the world, from the United States and the United Kingdom, to Singapore and Korea.
That said, these augmented reality virtual stores are also unique in that they are not located within subway stations and other high traffic commuter areas, but instead fill the empty urban spaces that would otherwise contain buildings if they were in use.