Visitors to German tech store Saturn could have the opportunity to be guided around the store by an augmented reality (AR) creation called Paula by donning Microsoft’s HoloLens as part of a pilot program in certain stores.
Somewhat resembling a kind of alien, vaguely humanoid squid, or a creation of Pablo Picasso; the AR cartoon sales person of Paula will explain various in-store products to the customer wearing the HoloLens headset. Customers can be escorted by Paula to displays showing the Samsung Galaxy S8, Surface Pro 4 and Dyson Big Ball vacuum cleaner where she will explain the various features and functions of the product. Visitors who take part can even get a souvenir photo of the experience.
“Something which only recently still seemed like science fiction has now been made possible – by augmented reality,” read a statement from Saturn parent company MediaMarktSaturn.”Customers will be able to explore a new shopping experience in which virtual items are displayed in real environments, hence ‘augmenting’ the perception of reality.”
Speaking about the Saturn Holotour, Martin Wild, Chief Digital Officer of MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group, said: “With the HoloTour we are once again able to experience an innovative technology at Saturn. We show our customers what fascinating opportunities the expanded reality can provide and give an insight into the shopping of the future, which will be even more personalized, while at the same time learning how our customers interact with the new technology.”
The technology that produces Paula is still in relatively early stages, and still experiences problems such as Paula going out of the customer’s view due to the limited field of vision offered by the HoloLens headset. The HoloTour with Paula is available in 20 selected Saturn stores throughout Germany.
VRFocus will bring you further news on innovative uses of Microsoft’s HoloLens as it becomes available.