For most of us, waiting for the subway or train is just another daily time sink. Sure, you could read the paper or listen to music, but more often people can also be found pursuing less productive activities like counting rats and avoiding making awkward eye contact with strangers. But a new project by grocery retailer Tesco has commuters in South Korea actually crossing things off their to-do list while they wait, by grocery shopping on the train platform.
To improve their online sales, Tesco covered the walls of a South Korean subway station with pictures of their merchandise arranged as though on store shelves. Each item was tagged with a QR code
, the black-and-white squares that can be read by smartphones. In the morning, commuters can scan the codes with their phones to fill up a virtual shopping cart. They pay for their items using an app, and then at the end of the day the food is delivered to their homes.