Tuesday, October 16, 2012

VR SHopping?

Take a look at the photo here.  This is a real Chinese super-market set to open set to open soon.  Nope, it is not some variation on a theme or some weird austerity program.  The shelves are in fact fully stocked with groceries!  Virtual Groceries. 

Yihaodian, the marketing group behind the scheme, has 1000, 13,000 square foot store fronts that will be stocked with virtual products.  The customer will be able to "see" the products using their smart phones and making purchasing decisions with the self same device.  The items would be totaled, charged, and delivery would be later the same day.

My comment here is....when is the last time you bought fresh veggies or cheese, preserved meat like a Genoa Salami without touching it, smelling it, getting the whole sensory input thing. How can you test if bread is fresh without tapping the end?

The reason I am taking it a bit personally is the article goes on to state:
  • A couple of months ago Walmart did a little virtual shopping of its own, and purchased a majority share in Yihaodian.
Niche fur miche (yep, can't spell in two languages ....)

Here is the article link from Dvice had listed for the original in TechAsia


Dave Tackett said...

I'm with you on this one. Talk about getting everything backward. In addition to the fresh food issues you mentioned, the consumer has to travel to this store, drain their smart phone charge, all in order to see things almost as well as if the item had actually been there.

Now if amazon or one of the big box stores would have a virtual reality program that would let you simulate the browsing experience of a bookstore or movie section from your home computer, that might be valuable.

Beam Me Up said...

Yeah Dave, there is the core of the idea right there! Now I could get behind that. But perishable goods? ahhhhhhhh no. Don't get me wrong, I experienced home grown and roasted coffee while I was vacationing and I have no problem ordering more of the same product, but had it been the very same product and I had not tried it....well I don't ...no... I know I would not order, because I have nothing to compare it with. I am that way with a lot of products...I like to try it out or put it on, just to see if it is what I expected. I purchase my eyeglasses on the internet. I see my supplier has a new interface that allows you to upload your face to see how the new pair looks. It is a neat trick, but it still did not address the key issues, weight and comfort. It is still a hands on world.

kallamis said...

I won't even allow the lumber yard to pick out my lumber. Guess what the chances are of me allowing someone to pick out my produce, etc for me.
I get the idea of what they are trying to do here. You are on the go, no time to shop, so you get home at 5 and your groceries arrive at 5:15. At least i am guessing that is the idea that was originally behind this entire thing.
No thanks. I have enough trouble with the GF bringing home horrible alien viruses and trying to kill me. I don't need people I don't know handling my produce and picking out who knows what condition or freshness.
Amazing isn't it. Some of us are still growing things ourselves, and the rest of the world will soon be unable to even grow a smegging house plant, you watch.

Beam Me Up said...

There ARE people you don't know handling your food! This would only make it worse! I seem to remember a very nasty food borne microbe that was traced back to migrant pickers and lack of sanitary bathroom facilities. Your right of course, it was just the scenario that presented itself from fairly innocent roots. Plus knowing Wall Mart championing the practice in and of itself telling indeed.

kallamis said...

What's bad is that this could actually catch on in a lot of places. I can see this taking off like iphones etc actually.
There's a whole new image of our futures being sewn right now, and I'm just not quite sure where we are going to end up. Should be quite interesting in 20 years.
Wish I could go into cryo-sleep for that long, just to really see the differences when i returned. I bet it would seem nearly alien to us then.
Yes, I'm recovering. The mind is beginning to function again at last. She hasn't done me in this time either.

Beam Me Up said...

interesting choice of words, sewn instead of sown hummmmm. Cryo for 20? you know what would happen at least for me? I would wind up on my knees in front of a half buried D&D sign screaming get you text off my laptop you damn dirty app......sorry I had to do that.

kallamis said...

Well, I thought that one fit better. It may bot being sewn by threads and needles, but it is being sewn by wireless, and instant access.
Tied to the net is something we have all foreseen in sci-fi for ages. So whether it be by thread, or by wireless signal, we are being sewn into it.
Maybe I should run with that for something.

Beam Me Up said...

mmmmmmmmmmmm well said....oh what a tangled "web" we weave.....