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.
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.
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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.