Over 140 participating stores and restaurants in London's Covent Garden will be introducing new augmented reality (AR) applications over the next six weeks in what organisers of the event say will be the largest showcase of AR technology ever attempted in one location.

Brands across beauty, fashion and accessories such as Mulberry, Dior and The Watch Gallery, will be taking part in the initiative, which is being driven by technology company Blippar.

Customers downloading the Blippar app on Android or iOS will be able to access various tool and games that help merge the virtual and physical  worlds. Activities available include:

  • Swing tags on select items in-store unlocking ‘gift picks’, rewards and offers from top fashion editors
  • Blippable stickers on restaurant fronts enabling people to explore different menu items, online reviews and even book a table 
  • An interactive AR map of Covent Garden which will come alive with events happening during the festive season, and unlock seasonal offers
  • A digitally enhanced Christmas tree and an AR Grotto, showcasing the potential of the technology
  • A digital treasure hunt, where participants can collect eight reindeer to enter a daily draw and win cash prizes.

Beverley Churchill, creative director of London property company Capco Covent Garden, said: “We are looking forward to merging the old and the new, the real and the virtual in Covent Garden this Christmas to create a unique and truly magical shopping experience with our friends at Blippar.”

Prominent style editors from the likes of Esquire, Elle and Cosmopolitan will be working with Blippar and select Covent Garden retailers and restaurants such as Hackett, Kiehl’s, Charlotte Tilbury, Clinique and Ted Baker to provide AR beauty and fashion gift guides which can be accessed through the Blippar app.