A Metaverse App is providing Treasure Hunt shopping

With the help of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality, Pasarina has launched a metaverse app where customers can meet a virtual assistant shop and discover “hidden” promotions.

The margin between reality and imagination blurs in Pasarina. It is the most recent supermarket by PT Supra Boga Lestari. The supermarket, based in the new Sarinah, Central Jakarta, embraces a metaverse concept that offers customers a new and unique shopping experience.

Maria Suwarni, chief of merchandising and marketing officer of Supra Boga Lestari, mentions that they are the pioneering retail in Indonesia that conveys a new, exciting shopping experience for customers by utilizing artificial intelligence technology.

According to Maria, the name Pasarina is derived from pasar which means market, and ina, which stands for Sarinah.

The supermarket, which has been open since May 27, presented its metaverse app, named “Trust Live”, during a press conference.

Local tech start-up Metaverse Studio Indonesia created the app by integrating artificial intelligence and computer vision in order to deliver customers an augmented reality experience while shopping in the supermarket.

It may sound like a lot of unfamiliar tech terminology for some, but the app functions a lot like the game Pokémon Go.

Also read, 5-year forecast of Metaverse

Shopping in the metaverse

The metaverse app is currently available for devices with the Android 8.0 operating system at the minimum. After downloading the app on their device, shoppers can walk around the supermarket with their cameras on.

Aim the camera anywhere in the supermarket, and customers will see some exciting creatures popping out from between the passageways.

Adez Aulia, chief technology officer of Metaverse Studio Indonesia, in an interview, highlighted that it took them about a month to scan all the niches and crannies in the store by utilizing a special three-dimensional laser camera from the United States.

According to Adez, the 360-degree camera scanned roughly 200 locations in the 1,200sq m supermarket from six different angles.

The scanned images were then constructed into three-dimensional mesh models for the metaverse app. The app also utilizes computer vision technology, which pings continuously to estimate the distance between the object that the camera sees and the position of the customer so that it can make the correct images appear onscreen.

Adez also mentions that their metaverse app has centimeter-level accuracy, which is higher than Pokémon Go’s, which is in meters.

When Adez presented the app on his tablet, a cute toddler-sized dinosaur appeared on the screen.

When Adez pointed his tablet to a stack of mangoes in the fruit section, a bulletin board appeared onscreen, informing about the fruit’s health benefits.

When shoppers are lucky, they might also encounter a nice surprise such as Buy 1 Get 1 promotion or free products to claim while exploring the supermarket with the app.

metaverse-app-virtual-shopping
Adez Aulia, chief technology officer of Metaverse Studio Indonesia, holding up the tablet showing a special deal that is only visible on the Metaverse App

The app also features a Guide Bot that functions as a virtual shop assistant in the store. All shoppers have to do is type in the product that they are looking for in the search area and a white bot, which looks like a small astronaut, will roll in to “meet” them.

The white bot will then request shoppers to follow as it leads them through the aisles. The bot will notify the product’s name when it arrives at the section. To discontinue its services, shoppers can just click on the “end navigation” button.

Feedback on the Metaverse app

Chandra, a bank executive from Jl. Sudirman, South Jakarta said that this is a very useful feature for him as an older man who is often lost in a supermarket. By using the app, he would not have to walk around in the large supermarket or try to find a store assistant.

However, Astuti, a housewife from, Central Jakarta, who was shopping in the supermarket had different feedback. She was not really interested in downloading and utilizing the app.

Explaining her side she conveyed that she found it a bit complicated, particularly when you have a lot on your hands, Astuti stated that she would rather just prefer to grab whatever was needed and head immediately to the cashier.

In response to this feedback, Maria articulated that it was frankly up to the customers whether they chose to use the app or not. She also clarified that the supermarket is just offering customers a new shopping experience, and they have no intention of making things difficult for them.

It remains to see how successful this metaverse app turns out to be in the forthcoming future but this definitely shows a powerful demonstration of companies willing to take up the next step in the virtual world.


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