Tesco Swaps Real For Virtual Shelves Using Augmented Reality

By Sam Gibbs on at

Tesco might be taking in at least one in every eight pounds spent in the UK, but that hasn't stopped it attempting to innovate and fit more on its shelves. The next step has been to swap physical products for virtual ones.

You've been able to use AR and an app on the Tesco website since September, with shoppers able to point a webcam at a Tesco Direct catalogue, Club card or printable marker to get a 3D representation of a product that they can interact with. Spin it around, check it out and decide whether you want to buy it. You can even get a 3D film trailer projected onto your Club card, or play with some virtual Lego, if you're really bored.

But now Tesco's also bringing that AR experience into some of their stores, kicking off with just eight; including two in Wembley and two in Borehamwood, plus one in Cheshunt, New Malden, Hatfield and Milton Keynes. It's a shame it's just limited to a computer and webcam; I'd like to have seen a bit of smartphone AR-action. But it's a start and Tesco's the first supermarket to jump on the AR bandwagon, what you playing at Sainsbury's? Where's my AR shopping app for my iPhone?