The World’s Largest Starbucks Spices Things Up With Location-Based AR

An informative AR experience breaks down the intricate coffee-making process at Shanghai’s Reserve Roastery.

Once again China is out to prove it’s the number one destination for everything virtual and augmented reality. The technology-driven country has seen everything from a massive growth in consumer AR applications, to an incredibly ambitious $30 billion VR theme park. Now thanks to a partnership with e-commerce and technology conglomerate Alibaba Group, Chinese consumers now have the chance to upgrade their coffee-drinking experience with location-based AR at Shanghai’s Reserve Roastery.

The AR experience takes users on a tour through 30,000 square feet of coffee bars and products as they scan various portions of the facility to unlock interesting visuals, various product details, and informative animations on the roasting process. Educational infographics give us a peek inside the stores massive 40-ton copper roasting cask and break down the multiple brewing methods that harness the intense flavor of the specially-aged beans.

Users can experience all of this content via the Roastery official app or Alibaba’s Taobao app. However the Taobao app does have the added benefit of location-tracking functionality which it uses to immediately open a digital menu as well as various other product information as soon as it detects the smartphone device is inside the establishment.

Regardless of whatever app you end up using, accessing every portion of the AR content available within the Starbucks earns the user digital badges which eventually unlock a custom roastery photo filter as a reward; a simple yet effective technique that’s scene previous success in other AR experiences such as Pokemon Go.

“We’ve created a space that both recognizes and celebrates our 46-year history of coffee leadership and retail innovation with China’s rich, diverse culture,” stated Starbucks Coffee Company executive chairman Howard Schultz in a statement.

In a country where consumers are becoming increasingly dependent on technology for their shopping experiences, destination-based AR will only continue to grow in popularity among various businesses. Shanghai’s Reserve Roastery AR experience is the perfect choice to showcase the various potential use-case scenarios of AR, from simpler applications such as a digital menu that automatically opens upon entering the location, to more advanced functionality like the multiple animated infographics. With these options in mind any business, big or small, could find a beneficial use for AR.

So if you’re in Shanghai, why not visit a Starbucks so big you might literally get lost in it? At least there’ll be some awesome AR content you can enjoy while you survive on lattes and cake pops until the authorities can locate you.

About the Scout

Former Writer (Kyle Melnick)

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