5G, together with the Internet of Things and Edge Computing, can create new possibilities for personalised and immersive online sales in traditional markets, which aspire to recreate the same experience in digital environments as customers received in physical locations.
This has been demonstrated at La Boqueria market in Barcelona, where an innovative 5G trial led by Parlem Telecom has been carried out to provide remote users with a virtual shopping experience using Augmented Reality technology that preserves the distinctive values of traditional shopping.
This technological solution promoted by the Catalan telecommunications operator gives new opportunity for the e-commerce platforms of traditional shops, as it allows customers who cannot shop physically (due to lack of time, remoteness, physical impediments, etc.) to purchase fresh products as if they were in the market itself.
The application presented (called Augmented Reality Personal Shopper) allows virtual shoppers to select in real time from their devices (PC, tablet, mobile phone) specific products from market stalls and obtain additional information about them with Augmented Reality.
The system, which is based on a private 5G network based on Edge Computing servers that guarantees minimum latency in communications and high-capacity bandwidth, includes the participation of a La Boqueria personal shopper equipped with Augmented Reality glasses as an intermediary between buyer and seller, who interacts with the stallholders and communicates live with the online shopper via videoconference with ultra-high-definition images. During the shopping process, the virtual user receives an Augmented Reality interface that the personal shopper is observing with their glasses in La Boqueria.
The initiative in the Barcelona market is the first use case of the 5G Catalonia pilot being run by Red.es, an entity attached to the Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation. The pilot is being developed by a joint venture of eight companies led by Cellnex Telecom and the MASMOVIL Group, with the participation of the operator Parlem Telecom, the company specialising in Augmented Reality for industry, Aumenta Solutions, the engineering company Atos, the consultancy Nae, the technology company Lenovo and the start-up Nearby Computing – spin-off of the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre. The 5G Catalonia project has a total budget of 5.4 million euros and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
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