back to article Rampaging Android takes over Main Street America

The latest Texan tourist attraction is a residential street, but one that invites visitors to tap an Android tablet against anything in the "neighbourhood" to be shown more details about the object, as well as its price. Main Street America isn't your typical theme park; instead of featuring rollercoasters or showgirls, the …


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  1. The Envoy

    But, for the love of God...

    ...where's the church?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Rev 13:17

      "so that no one can buy or sell who does not have the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. "

      1. Disco-Legend-Zeke


        the Acid book of the bible.

  2. Antti Roppola

    Yul Brynner

    With all this talk about androids rampaging on Main Street USA, where's my Yul Brynner icon?

  3. Zephyrus Spacebat
    Thumb Up

    Interesting Concept

    I think that this is a decent concept, in theory, and I hope it spreads to more than tacky Yank theme parks.

    It would be nice if NFC chips got really cheap - as in, enough so that they are embedded in products or the paper price tags. Eg. have a Coles/Woolworths (two Australian chains) app on your Droid/iDevice, tap it against the product, and get the price, and other details - I suppose having the dietary information displayed, and an integrated shopping list would be a handy thing to have. Of course, this would already be doable with QR codes, and QR codes are readable by nearly every smartphone these days.

    However, seeing as the local Coles here just got the "$x.xx per L" thing on the paper price tags not less than 4 months ago, I don't think we'll see it for a long time (except in that one rerun of Beyond Tomorrow, with the European FutureStore(TM)...)

  4. ed2020

    I may be missing something...

    ...but the whole experience sounds mind-numbingly tedious.

  5. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge


    Dontcha just love it!

    Why are these men in white coats coming for me?

  6. Yag

    "a memorable, one-of-a-kind learning and buying experience".

    Indeed! Not your typical theme park where they promise "a somewhat memorable, one-of-a-kind dumbing and buying experience".

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Which makes me wonder...

    ...why there aren't more examples of locative art (Gibson's geohacking) available yet.

  8. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Ha Ha. 'a memorable, one-of-a-kind learning and buying experience'

    That will be a re-badged Wallmart then. Most 'Main Streets' in the USA are dead. The reason is the great god WallyWorld store on the edge of town. It already has the Androids (The employees) and the RFC tags on just about every item.

  9. Trygve Henriksen

    No pencils?

    How are they going to compete with IKEA, then?

    The Swedish meatballs?

    Nah... I prefer Norwegian meatballs. They're bigger...

    The names aren't that difficult, really.

    (They're all normal scandinavian names.)

    Might be worth visiting to see if you could manage to mess with one of the tablets, though...

    If you can get hold of one, that is. 800 tablets isn't that many, especially if visitors will have to 'examine' everything to find out anything about it.

    1. jphb

      Normal Scandinavian Names ?

      Last time my wife dragged me to Ikea, I'm sure I saw a light fitting called a FARTYG

  10. frank ly


    I can't think of anything nicer than wandering around beautifully furnished showhomes and looking at all kinds of different bathroom fittings and luminaires.

    Not only could I see them and touch and operated them, I could read about them via linked data!

    All that's needed now is for it to analyse my bank balance and do a few projections to see if I can afford something, monitor my heart rate and blood pressure to see which items give me most excitement; then it could make the buying recommendation for me and place an order after I press the 'Yes I Do!' button. If it then consults my calendar, it could book a time for the delivery and the fitting contractors to arrive. Ah, modern technology, if only it could give me a life as well.

  11. ratfox Silver badge

    Thanks, I'll stay with IKEA

    No Swedish icon... Tux will have to do (I know, finnish)

  12. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Something like this already.....

    Last summer, up outside Oxford, there was a new estate of houses I got dragged along to look at. All the fixtures and fittings in the show houses had barcode stickers attached and we were given a handheld scanner (or "zapper" as the more technophobic Mrs Bryant referred to it) to use on any item we found of interest. All the house contents had been supplied by some catalogue company, and if you decided you wanted to buy an item you just swiped your credit card on the zapper, tapped in your pin and your address, and the goods got sent out by courier the next day. The wife loved it, she even bought a vase there and then. It seemed like a smart way to make a bit of extra money out of show homes and also get a lot more people in to do viewings. Most of the couples we bumped into up there weren't that interested in the houses, but they were zapping and buying stuff.

  13. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Now call me old-fashioned...

    ... or even a Luddite... but exactly just what is wrong with a little cardboard tag with a price written (or, if you insist, printed) on it?

    I can count on the fingers of one foot the number of times I've had the terrible and desperate urge to know every intimate detail about an object in a store that I can see and touch, right there in front of me. Meanwhile, t'internet is full of useless 'shops' where hundred-pixel-wide images purport to be an adequate representation of the object for sale.

    I despair, I really do.

  14. Slim Chance
    Paris Hilton

    Purchase anything your lil' ol' heart desires

    Good grief charlie brown, those voice overs esp the female are just so slimy.

    But wow, point, click and buy!

    Not long now before you have your very own Paris Hilton Stepford wife to go with your perfect house in your perfect street together with your other perfect possessions..........Cue the music....

    Jay Kay singing Virtual Insanity.

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