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  • Writer's pictureEugenie Mae

Indonesian supermarket introduces a digital treasure-hunt shopping experience

Utilising artificial intelligence and augmented reality technology, Pasarina has launched a metaverse app where customers can meet a virtual assistant shop and discover "hidden" promotions.

The line between reality and imagination blurs in Pasarina, one of the newest supermarkets in Indonesia. Established in Central Jakarta adopts a metaverse concept that offers customers a new and unique shopping experience.

"We're the pioneering retail in Indonesia that brings in a new, exciting shopping experience for our customers by using artificial intelligence technology," Maria Suwarni, chief of merchandising and marketing officer of Supra Boga Lestari, said during a press conference at the supermarket.

The supermarket introduced its metaverse app, named Trust Live, by combining artificial intelligence and computer vision in providing customers with an augmented reality experience while shopping in the supermarket. After downloading the app on their smart device, shoppers can walk around the supermarket with their cameras on. Aim the camera anywhere in the supermarket, and they will see some exciting creatures popping out from between aisles. The 360-degree camera scanned approximately 200 locations within the 1,200sq m supermarket.

Hovering above the aisles, you can find cornucopia of twirling icons, such as a Javanese dance mask, a tuna and a large bottle of soya sauce, which signify the products being offered on the shelves. When pointed to a stack of mangoes at the fruit section, a bulletin board will appear onscreen, informing customers of the fruit's health benefits.

When customers get lucky, they may even encounter a nice surprise while scouring the supermarket with the app, such as Buy 1 Get 1 promotions or free products to redeem.

"It's a lot like treasure-hunting," Adez Aulia, chief technology officer of Metaverse Studio Indonesia says. "I discovered this buy-one-get-one dragon fruit juice [promotion] while walking around the supermarket with this app. It's quite exciting."

The app also offers a Guide Bot that acts as a virtual shop assistant in the store. All shoppers have to do is type in the product that they are looking for in the search section and a white bot, which looks like a small astronaut, will roll in to "meet" them. The white bot will then ask shoppers to follow as it leads them through the aisles. The bot will announce the product's name when it arrives at the section.

"This is a very useful feature for me as a bapak-bapak (older man) that's often lost in a supermarket," said Chandra, a bank executive in Jakarta. "By using the app, I don't have to walk around in the large supermarket or try to find the shop assistant."
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