With technology on the rise and a mobile phone in most people’s pockets, a new kind of shopping experience is definitely in reach. People love to visit the highstreet, look in the shop windows or browse the racks. That’s never going to change in my opinion. But the thought of online retailers like boohoo.com or even the major players like Amazon, there is always a risk that the traditional shopping experience could eventually dissapear. Blippar, mobile phone application behind Augmented Reality technology is trying their hardest to blend the two types of experiences together. This is why they’ve transformed London’s Covent Garden into a full augmented reality experience.

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There are over 140 shops and restuarants in London’s famous destination that are all partaking in this transformation. From the video Blippar has launched they participating shops have all put stickers in their windows with augmented reality barcodes for you to scan. You can expect retailers across beauty, fashion and accessories such as Mulberry, Dior and The Watch Gallery to take part in this fully immersive shopping experience.

Santa is even going to make an appearance for the youngsters in his new interactive neighbourhood grotto where there will be the largest ever digital reindeer. It will soar around the Piazza crossing boundries between the real and virtual worlds.

There will even be the world’s first AR Christmas tree towering 50ft above us in the centre of the Piazza. On the tree will be unique offers that shoppers will be able to unlock simply by scanning it with their Blippar app on their mobile. There are even style editors from Ellie, Cosmopolitan and Esquire that will be working with Blippar to bring customers some perfect gifts this Christmas.

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Beverley Churchill, Creative Director of Capco Covent Garden, said: We are looking forward to merging the old and the new, the real and the virtual in Covent Garden this Christmas to create a unique and truly magical shopping experience with our friends at Blippar.

Speaking at the launch, Blippar COO Danny Lopez said: “We are very excited to use the festive season as a backdrop for demonstrating the potential of augmented reality. This year we at Blippar will help digitally enhance the Christmas shopping experience and I’m thrilled that millions of visitors will be a part of such an exciting event.”

Here are some of the things that are attached to AR technology:

  • Swing tags on select items in-store unlocking ‘gift picks’, rewards and offers from top fashion editors
  • “Blippable” stickers on restaurant fronts enabling people to explore different menu items, online reviews and even book a table
  • An interactive AR map of Covent Garden which will come alive with events happening during the festive season, and unlock seasonal offers
  • A digitally enhanced Christmas tree and an AR Grotto, showcasing the magic of the technology
  • A digital treasure hunt, where people can collect eight reindeer to enter a daily draw and win cash prizes

Blippar is available on iOS and Android.  Visit get.blippar.com. You can also check out the video below for more information on this amazing feat.

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Stef Murphy