I would never do my grocery shopping inside a subway station. The smells? The rats? The slime? Gross. But what about a virtual supermarket where you scan QR codes of items and have it delivered to you by the end of the day?
They have that kind of virtual supermarket in a South Korea subway station (which is admittedly cleaner than a New York subway station). European grocery chain Tesco has 'opened' a store where the items are just pictures lined against the walls of subway stations and the currency is QR codes. Well, no, you still have to pay the mans his moneys, but the method is different: scan the QR code to add it to your shopping cart, checkout and then have items delivered to your home by the end of the day.
It's definitely a two birds, one stone kind of awesomeness and it's beginning to take off in South Korea. People who take the subway don't have to make an extra stop at a grocery store, people are not wasting time waiting for a subway to arrive and the experience itself is a decent compromise between online shopping and brick and mortar buying. Obviously, you'd still need reliable mobile phone signal down in those tunnels for this to really work, though. And that's a whole 'nother story here. [Technology Review via Design Boom]