Koreans supermarket shop with their phones on train platform

South Koreans are busy people but happen to be blessed by advanced technology. I say ‘blessed’, they just work hard at innovation and have created an infrastructure that encourages new technological development, but blessed is easier. Also, to be fair, the virtual supermarket in the video below could be done in Britain. Or anywhere that had reliable broadband, smartphones, and a reasonable 3G network.

Basically, Tescos has stuck up a virtual representation of supermarket shelves on a train platform and added QR tags (like a square barcode)  so people can scan items with their phones. The items go into a virtual shopping basket online and the food is then delivered to their house. Genius. This would appeal to those who need to see all the products available on display and don’t like the way you shop online. Or people who just think it is cool and would buy stuff purely because you can.

I said that this would work in Britain but it obviously wouldn’t as people would mess about with the pictures and the QR codes. Draw willies on chickens and put people off or muck about with the codes. I was wondering if it would be possible to sabotage this even more. If the person is buying a lot of items they may not be paying much attention to what they are adding to their basket. If, say, I had a book on sale in the virtual shop (lots of supermarkets sell books and magazines these days), couldn’t I get a copy of the QR code, make sure it is the right size and stick it over the top of one of the other product’s QR tags? That way they will inadvertently buy a copy of my book and when they got their shopping assume it was a mistake. Even if they flagged it up with the supermarket it would be assumed to be a glitch in the matrix.

If you’ve ever shopped online you will be familiar with getting things you didn’t order. I once ordered two packs of 8 rashes of bacon. I received 16 packs of bacon instead. I was constantly giving bacon to friends in pubs like a carnivorous Milky Bar kid, I was very popular. Anyway, maybe this virtual idea would work if it was only behind a cover or in a country where people aren’t quite so criminally minded and dishonest like myself.

Here is the clip:


Thanks for letting me know about this clip Martin, I think it’s cool.