Decoding Design

Virtual store enables commuters in Seoul to multitask while waiting

Virtual store enables commuters in Seoul to multitask while waiting

Posting in Design

A quick response application and display by a South Korean retailer rethinks how workers use their downtime in the subway.

The average work week in South Korea is forty-four hours, with a significant number of workers putting in fifty or more hours.  Add in the time to commute to and from the office, and there's no wonder that daily chores feel like a burden.  A new shopping experience in Seoul's Hangangjin subway station allows workers to make the most of their waiting time.

Homeplus, a division of Tesco, offers a virtual store in place of the flat spaces normally used only for advertising.  Their newest billboards use QR, or Quick Response, technology to offer a virtual shopping experience with real results.  Designed by Cheil Worldwide, the cheerful billboards display photorealistic images of merchandise carried by Homeplus.  Time-strapped commuters browse the signs and use their smartphones (with a downloaded app) to scan or take a photo of the QR codes next to each product.  The digital shopping list is made real and the groceries are delivered by the time the weary worker returns home.  See the award winning design concept in action below:

Integrating smartphone technology with a time management game-like experience makes perfect sense in a country that is so smitten with gadgets and games that its citizens lose days of sleep.  Homeplus is planning to open more virtual stores in additional South Korean subway stations later this year.

Video: AdCircusOfficial

Image: International Supermarket News

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Sun Kim

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Sun Joo Kim is an architect and creative consultant based in Boston. Her projects include design and master planning of museums, public institutions, hospitals, and university buildings across the U.S. She holds a degree from Carnegie Mellon University and is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure