OMG: The Future of Retail Design Is Augmented-Reality Facades

AR Building

Okay, my head just kinda exploded. Qosmo working together with Terada Design have created N Building, a retail low-rise whose facade is covered in QR codes. When you snap one with your phone, that in turn tells you information about the shops inside–ranging from what’s new, what’s on sale, coupons, and even restaurant reservations. And then, things get weird: You can see the Tweets and comments of the people inside, thanks to Twitter geotagging:

Now, individually, none of these technologies is particularly surprising. (Leaving aside the fact that Japan is way ahead on the QR code thing; we’ll get there fairly soon.) But as we’ve pointed out before, the future of interaction design isn’t about new tech–it’s about clever applications at the low-end. This is a shining example. The only real innovation lies in having enough animation to take QR codes to a massive scale–and the rest sort of naturally falls out of that, once you integrate everything that’s possible. What’s particularly clever is that unlike most AR apps, the passerby doesn’t need to have any special program on their phone–it just needs QR capability.

Can you imagine if you could look out over a cityscape, scan the skyline for QR codes, and find out information about where you want to go, what you should be doing, and who’s doing it? The mind boggles when you consider where this could go, once the capabilities of social networks is looped into the mix–Loopt is just the tip of the iceberg.

[Via CreativeApplications]CK