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Brief Published: 4 Nov 2014

Intel’s In-Store Experience

Intel Product Playgrounds, US

Tech giant Intel has launched a series of branded product playgrounds in consumer electronics retailer Best Buy's stores across the US, to give shoppers a hands-on opportunity to test new products featuring its processors (laptops, two-in-one devices and tablets).

The 240 sq ft mini showrooms are divided into three different experiences, all of which are guided by expert sales staff:

  • A 3D printing station lets consumers use a touch-enabled laptop to customise a toy robot design by selecting different colours and components. The designs are then fabricated in-store on machines from US 3D printing company 3D Systems.
  • The Mars Escape section uses a gamified version of augmented reality (AR) – technology that overlaps a virtual layer of content/information onto the physical landscape – to bring a physical model of a Martian landscape to life. By looking at it through a tablet, users can observe an animated scene in which they are able to see and control the movements of a roving space vehicle.
  • The DJ Remixing Ne-Yo Experience invites customers to interact with a video of American R&B singer Ne-Yo performing on stage in front of a large audience. Using a laptop with a touchscreen, they can remix his song and control the light show of his performance.

Now installed at 50 locations across 25 states, this is Intel's largest physical presence in stores to date and follows an Intel-commissioned survey which revealed that eight in ten Americans are excited about new technologies, but half of respondents were frustrated by lack of hands-on access.

Read more about brands acting as guides through interactive shopping formats in The Rise of Edutainment, Future Stores: Brand Hubs and Product Playgrounds, Selling Technology and Tech Boutiques. For more on the use of AR, and other technologies that merge the physical and the digital world in-store, see Virtual Immersive Commerce and Enhanced Retail Realities – both in our Post-Digital Macro Trend.