Thursday 18 July 2019

Snapchat augmented reality turns empty store into virtual Lego shop

Virtual Lego boutique appears on the users screen, complete with an interactive DJ booth and arcade machine.

Virtual Lego store, visible through Snapchat (Snapchat/PA)
Virtual Lego store, visible through Snapchat (Snapchat/PA)

By Jamie Harris, Press Association Science Technology Reporter

Augmented reality technology is being used to transform an empty store into a virtual Lego clothing shop that customers can explore on their smartphone using Snapchat.

A pop-up shop selling a limited-edition Lego Wear clothing line for adults opens in Fitzrovia, London today only, but the physical building is actually empty, except for a Snapcode that Snapchat users can scan on their way in, transporting them into a virtual Lego boutique.

Snapchat’s AR technology allows people to move around and see different parts of the store on their smartphone screens, which includes an interactive DJ booth, an arcade machine and the ability to look through the clothing range displayed on Lego mannequins.

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Virtual Lego Wear store, visible through Snapchat (Snapchat/PA)

“We’re an innovative, playful brand at heart and part of that is exploring new digital channels and technologies,” said Lea Sandell, social media innovation lead at the Lego Group.

“This was an unique opportunity to collaborate with Kabooki on their brand new limited edition product for adults and tap into both the sense of style and the nostalgia of that audience – while exploring that interesting space where the digital and physical worlds merge.”

The one-day event, which takes place at 55 Eastcastle Street from 10am to 5pm, will allow people to buy products online through an integrated “Shop now” feature in the app.

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Users can explore the virtual pop-up for one day only (Snapchat/PA)

The move is the latest attempt by Snapchat’s parent company Snap Inc to turn a profit, though user numbers remain flat.

In its latest results for the final three months of 2018, net loss dropped from 350 million dollars (£270 million) for the same period in 2017, to 192 million (£148 million).

However, Snap Inc did report record revenue of 390 million dollars (£301 million), up 36% from the 286 million dollars (£220 million) posted previously.

Over Christmas, the company released a festive AR Lens, that revealed a restored virtual Elizabeth Tower complete with real-time bongs, when holding the app up at the London landmark.

PA Media

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