May 9, 2012, 4:53 PM

Wal-Mart customers join forces with the Avengers

A new app lets shoppers find superheroes—and merchandise—in stores.

Bill Siwicki

Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce

Lead Photo

Riding the wave of the blockbuster movie “The Avengers,” Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has launched an augmented reality app that lets customers play a game in which they can hunt down superheroes in stores or take pictures with any of the Avengers, who appear virtually on screen at select locations in stores.

To play the game, a customer downloads to his smartphone the Super Hero AR app from the Apple App Store or the Android app store in Google Play. He begins the game as Hawkeye, one of the supporting characters in the film, and possesses all of the birdman’s superpowers. He uses those powers in Wal-Mart stores when scanning with his smartphone camera Avengers signs, enabling him to unlock other superheroes and their superpowers. The goal is to collect the powers of all of the Avengers and defeat the evil Loki to win the game.

To pose for a picture with a superhero, the customer activates in the app the photo capture mode while holding his smartphone over a stack of DVDs of previous Avengers movies. The character depicted in that DVD will appear on the smartphone’s camera screen. The customer can then use the front-facing camera to line himself up with the superhero and take a picture, or ask a friend to take the shot with the camera lens on the back of the phone. The customer then can share the picture with friends via e-mail or Facebook.

“The augmented reality experience bridges the gap between the physical store and mobile gaming,” says Seong Ohm, senior vice president and general merchandise manager for entertainment at Walmart U.S. “We’re committed to creating engaging and fun experiences at Walmart, and we’ve tapped different areas of the store for movie fans to interact with the mobile app while shopping the more than 600 Marvel’s The Avengers items available.” is No. 4 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.


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