Everyone’s been there: You get back from a trip, open the cupboard to make a coffee before you unpack, and there’s no coffee. Or bread. Or milk. Or even bananas. The next thing you know, you’re eating green beans out of a can. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you depart from London’s Gatwick airport, stocking the house with essentials for when you return is one of the last things you need to remember, thanks to a virtual grocery store. The interactive store comes courtesy of global supermarket chain Tesco, which tested similar billboard-style stores in South Korea last year.
If you’re passing through Gatwick’s North Terminal, and have an iOS or Android phone, you can order milk and bread from one of four virtual stores to be delivered the day you get home. Touching the giant screen allows you to swipe through the “fridge” or “cupboard” like an iPad to pick what you need. Each item has a barcode underneath, which you scan using the Tesco app on your phone.
Each item appears in a shopping basket on your smartphone; from there, then all you need to do is book the delivery slot. Pretty useful if you just need to pick up some milk, right?
Sadly, the technology isn’t so great if you don’t own a phone with access to the App Store or Google Play, and might take some time if you haven’t already downloaded the app. You also need an account set up with Tesco to make use of the service, again making a quick task a little longer.
Still, given the popularity of the virtual stores in South Korea, it’s likely to take off (get it?) in places where people are on the go or are unable to get to a store on their journey. And it means you can actually make that coffee when you return home.
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