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Now you can buy groceries using augmented reality, in South Korean subway stations

Illustration for article titled Now you can buy groceries using augmented reality, in South Korean subway stations

First South Korea decided to remove inefficient non-electronic textbooks by 2015. And now they have created the first successful augmented reality supermarket chains in subways.

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Called E-Marts, these virtual stores are stocked by supermarkets like European grocery store giant Tesco and Home Plus - but they sell their goods via glowing pictures on subway platforms. Shoppers waiting for a train can simply look at the walls to view potential groceries, scan the respective QR codes with their smartphone, and then have their groceries delivered by the time they reach their homes.

About 10,000 consumers have taken advantage of this service, resulting in an online sales increase of 130%. To many marketers, the E-Marts are seen as another innovative step in the development of how shopping will be done in the future. As Abel Sanchez, of MIT's Intelligent Engineering Systems Laboratory, says:

Think of the early days of the Web versus today. In the early 1990s, the Web was one way, like a paper book. Today, the Web is full of interaction; it's how we do our jobs. I think the supermarket will go through a similar transformation.

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Above you can see a video from Home Plus further explaining their innovation, which has finally allowed man to no longer have to look in two different places for trains and grocery shopping. And, if you're lucky, people showering.

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DISCUSSION

I kind of got a nauseous feeling, because as much as I love this technology I can see it is going to be used to slap virtual products on every available surface which can instantly be bought via smartphone.

The division between advert and purchase will completely dissolve. The advert will be the point of sale.

I've the seen the future and it is all about product placement :(