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Brief Published: 7 May 2019

Tech Testing: Vivo Lab Smartphone Demo Store, China

Vivo Lab

Chinese consumers now constitute 30% of the global smartphone market (IDC, 2019). Hoping to harness their tremendous buying power, Chinese smartphone brand Vivo is deploying demo and test tactics in its playful, experimentation-first flagship the Vivo Lab in Shenzhen.

Aiming to increase its customer base from 200 million+ global users to something rivalling Apple´s iPhone’s 900 million (Engadget 2019) by offering a complete experience, the Vivo Lab is split across two floors. The upper floor is dedicated to exploration, echoing the soft-selling strategies pioneered by concepts such as Google’s Curiosity Rooms (a pop-up space showcasing its Google Pixel 3 phone). A traditional shop sits on the ground floor.

Devised by global experience agency Imagination, the futuristic upper floor resembles a spacecraft and translates the cutting-edge technology used in the camera’s phone into an experimental educational journey. Highlights include:

  • Your Aura: A real-time interactive projection wall. Sensors detect clothing colour, proximity and movement to project a dynamically pulsating light formation that mirrors the visitor’s unique silhouette.
  • Take Me Back: An interactive time-travel experience allows visitors to learn about the evolution of photography via a booth using image processing technology. Visitors pose in front of a blue screen, snap selfies and select a historic backdrop including the visual effects of that era – motion blur for pinhole cameras and smooth filters emulating the high exposure of Polaroid cameras. 
  • Take Me There: Showcasing its light-balancing tech, an inflated dome equipped with LEDs acts as a light simulator, atmospherically transporting visitors to different locations around the world, and emulating their natural lighting conditions. Alternatively, guests can use a digital dashboard to choose studio lighting to take portraits. 
  • Vivo Me: Echoing the rise of the digitised self – see Retail’s Avatar Opportunity – Vivo Me uses AI to transform selfies taken in-situ into customisable cartoon-like characters, ready to download and share on WeChat.

See also Tactics for Retailing Tech.