Imagine a world where you can shop in an interactive, virtual reality supermarket. That's precisely what the new Pasarina store has done with its metaverse concept - offering customers never-before-seen shopping experiences that are both unique and immersive.

"We're the pioneering retail in Indonesia that brings in a new, exciting shopping experience for our customers by using artificial intelligence technology," said Maria Suwarni, Supra Boga Lestari's chief merchandising and marketing officer, at a press conference on June 22.

According to Maria, the name Pasarina is derived from the words Pasar (market) and Ina, which stands for Sarinah. During the press conference, the supermarket, which has been open since May 27, unveiled its metaverse app, Trust Live.

Metaverse Studio Indonesia, a local technology start-up, created the app by combining artificial intelligence and computer vision to provide customers with an augmented reality experience while shopping at the supermarket.

For some, the app may sound like a lot of unfamiliar tech jargon, but it works similarly to Pokémon Go's game.

Shop in the metaverse

The app is currently available for devices running the Android 8.0 operating system or higher. Customers can walk around the supermarket with their cameras on after downloading the app to their devices. If they point the camera anywhere in the supermarket, they will see some exciting creatures emerge from between the aisles.

"It took us about a month to scan all the nooks and crannies in the store using a special three-dimensional laser camera from the US," Adez Aulia, chief technology officer of Metaverse Studio Indonesia, said following the press conference.

The 360-degree camera digitized approximately 200 locations in the 1,200-square-meter supermarket, according to Adez.

"From each location, the camera scanned six different angles," Adez explained. The scanned images were then converted into three-dimensional mesh models for use with the metaverse app.

The app also employs computer vision technology, which "pings consistently" to determine the distance between the object seen by the camera and the customer's position so that the appropriate images appear on screen.

"Our accuracy is in centimeters, which is higher than Pokémon Go's accuracy, which is in meters," Adez explained.

It also includes a Guide Bot, which functions as a virtual store assistant. All shoppers must do is type the product they want into the search bar, and a white bot resembling a small astronaut will appear to "meet" them.

The white bot will then instruct shoppers to follow it as it navigates the aisles and will announce the product's name when it reaches the section. Customers can cancel their services by simply clicking the "end navigation" button.

However, Astuti, a housewife from Menteng in Central Jakarta, who was buying groceries with her toddler in the supermarket, stated that she was not interested in downloading and utilizing the app.

"I think it's a little complicated," Astuti said, "especially when you have a lot on your hands." "I prefer to grab what I need and run to the cashier."

Maria responded to the feedback by saying that it was entirely up to the customers whether or not to use the app.

Local Products

Pasarina also has a variety of exciting local products that are rarely found in other supermarkets. It has the classic Teh Bendera from Medan, North Sumatra, and the sweet-smelling Teh Prendjak from Riau in its tea section.

Its chocolate section is heaven for chocoholics. Local brands on display include Yogyakarta's Cokelat Monggo and Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara's premium Ghaura Chocolate.

The supermarket's soy sauce section is also interesting. It consists of five shelves displaying iconic soya sauce products from across the archipelago, such as Kecap Menjangan from Sidodadi, East Java, which is used by many street satay vendors, and Kecap Benteng SH, which is said to be Indonesia's oldest soya sauce product.

Currently, there are 50-50 ratios between imported and local products in the supermarket.


Sylviana Hamdani

Aug 10, 2022
Digital Lifestyle

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