We like a good Tomorrow's World-style story here at mobdevbiz, and thanks to Adverblog we got to see this pioneering bit of work done by Tesco in South Korea.
Tesco, it seems, is the number two grocer in South Korea via its Home Plus brand. It want's to be number one, obviously, but is exploring how to do so using the Internet, rather than building loads of new stores.
It seems that Koreans are a hard-working bunch and spend a lot of time commuting. Tesco and its local creative agency had a look at ways to help Koreans fit their grocery shopping into their busy lifestyle and came up with the bright idea of the Subway Virtual Store.
This involves putting up images of real supermarket shelves where display advertising would normally be. But underneath each item is a QR code, that commuters can scan using OCR technology such as you find in Google Goggles, but embedded in a Tesco app, presumably, which then instantly put the item in their online shopping cart. It's as simple as that.
Of course there are several potential hurdles to be overcome, such as crowding during rush hour and the need to refresh the virtual store regularly, but as an innovative way to solve problems for customers, and this gain business, using smartphones, we think it looks pretty cool.
Here's the summary of the project and a vid.