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DES GB2012 E

he idea behind these “Future Labs” is that they will be used for testing new interactive services, from virtual store guide systems to a wide range of social media links to interac- tive play areas, and serve as experimental sites for trying out new technical trends and ideas. Developments that are well received by customers will continue to be pursued and implemented in other shopping centers; those that meet with a less positive res- ponse will be stopped and replaced by new ones. The key question to be asked in the test labs is: what can we learn from online retailers? Here we can be sure about one thing: timing is crucial. Tailoring information to potential customers and getting it to them at the right time is vital. With this aim in mind, we developed, among other things, a free smartphone app for the purpose of informing customers about offerings, events and news. This offering is complemented by a points collection and voucher scheme. ALEXANDER CRÜSEMANN, PROJECT MANAGER FUTURE LABS, ECE PROJEKTMANAGEMENT Inspired by the findings of the multichannel study (, ECE went on to launch so-called „Future Labs“ in the Alstertal- Einkaufszentrum in Hamburg and in the Limbecker Platz shopping center in Essen in March 2013. Another novelty of the “Future Labs” is the „Mall Wall“: a high- resolution mega display measuring 4 x 4 metres, which visitors can access using a specially developed touchscreen, allowing them, for example, to click on fashion tips, social media, blogs, games, or so-called augmented reality animations, where they can experience extended reality in the form of virtual simula- tions. A special attraction for children is the interactive play area “Journey of the Giants”. On a touchscreen mounted on the ground, players try to catch cars or coins whizzing across the screen. The “Your Way2go” system offers visitors a novel way of searching for and finding the quickest way to shops by down- loading a 3D animation to their mobile phone using a QR code or by displaying the information there and then on the screen. Also new is “Gloria”: a virtual mall avatar. Users communicate inter- actively with the virtual shopping center manager using a touch- screen and display. “Gloria” is fully acquainted with the shop- ping center, offers useful tips and sends video messages. “Info Gate” is another new attraction: Info Gate service staff respond via live videostream to queries from visitors about shops in the center or about departure times of buses and trains. But along- side these interactive information sources, the customer infor- mation desk still has its place, allowing customers can talk to advisors in person. An additional feature of the “Future Labs” is the “Multi Media Lounge”: a place where shoppers can learn about the latest technologies in a relaxed atmosphere, try out tablet devices or browse the Internet. They can also check out the biggest 3D tele- vision on display to date in Germany (featuring a 70" screen) from United Entertain, which doesn‘t require viewers to wear 3D glasses. T Experimental sites for new technical trends and ideas “Future Labs“ Future labsSHOPPING { 34 } DES ANNUAL REPORT 2012