Many physical entertainment retailers aren’t having the best time of it at the moment: not only are they facing competition from legal digital services and piracy, but even people still looking to buy CDs, DVDs and books are able to wander around stores with their smartphones checking if they can get products cheaper online. Usually this involves scanning barcodes, but Amazon has a new app called Flow that gets a bit whizzier: identifying books, games, DVDs and CDs from their covers then displaying prices and info using augmented reality technology. A novelty? Maybe: while there is strong evidence of people using their smartphones to check online prices while in stores, whether they’ll go for an AR method remains to be seen.

EarPods and phone

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