Malls have a problem. People come to browse, if they show up at all, but when it comes time to purchase, many pull out their smartphones to buy, grab a snack in the food court, and head home to wait for the delivery.
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Some empty malls are being reimagined as microamusement parks. But Japanese company Psychic VR Lab wants to bring its virtual reality tech, dubbed Styly, into the store itself in a bid to inspire on-the-spot purchases.
Psychic VR Lab has tested this in Tokyo's Isetan Shinjuku Mall at futuristic design houses chloma, BALMUNG, and HATRA. After a successful trial in September 2016, Psychic VR Lab released a US beta of Styly at SXSW; 500 US developers are now trying it out and providing feedback.