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Augmented Reality Experience Unveiled at San Francisco Airport



Pacific Gateway is inviting airport travelers to take a break from the hustle of holiday travel and enjoy a moment of holiday fun. The Company’s See’s Candies shop, located in Terminal 3 at SFO, has unveiled an augmented reality experience that transforms patrons into snowmen in their very own winter wonderland.


The augmented reality experience, built by technology firm Float Hybrid in partnership with Pacific Gateway, offers travelers, young and old alike a little holiday magic. When patrons of the See’s Candies store approach the big screen, they find themselves staring back at their reflection, but suddenly immersed in a snow covered store. They continue to watch as their reflection changes into that of a snowman. Move left, the snowman moves left. Wave your arms, the snowman waives back. It’s a true interactive experience.


After several seconds the screen offers to take your picture so you can send it to friends and family or share on social media channels. It’s a refreshing reminder that the holidays are about fun, and that stores can be a place to experience the holiday magic.



The technology offers retailers a means to create memorable one of a kind experiences for shoppers. As consumers continue to move away from the store in favor of shopping online, retailers need to innovate the in-store experience to give shoppers a reason to come to the store. With the Millennial generation favoring experiences over material things, retailers have to rethink the role of the store in attracting those shoppers.


“Our goal is to amaze customers with a unique experience they can’t find anywhere else,” says Kenneth Howe, Vice President of Brands and Strategic Ventures at Pacific Gateway Concessions. “Shopping in stores should be a fun experience that customers look forward to, and that’s what we created with the Interactive Snowman Experience.”


The proof is in the pudding as the See’s Snowman experience is keeping patrons in the store 20x longer when going through the full snowman experience. Sales at the store are up 34% year over year following the implementation of the augmented reality experience. 



Behind the scenes, the experience is driven by Microsoft Kinect technology. The technology uses skeletal tracking to understand the body position of the user and superimposes imagery over the user’s skeleton. The snow and snowman are computer generated, fully animated imagery that map to the environment, creating the convincing illusion that users are inside a world created for them.


“The content on screen is completely customizable,” says Keith Bendes, Director of Business Development at Float Hybrid. “This allows retailers to transport their customers to any world they imagine. If they can dream it, we can build it.”


The technology will continue to influence in-store experiences, as PG Concessions and Float will be expanding the technology to other retail locations and airports, bringing the magical experience to travelers across the U.S. 




Pacific Gateway is a leading airport concessionaire with retail and food and beverage operations from coast to coast. Pacific Gateway brings to airports a unique approach to business that is squarely focused on knowing the travelers they serve so that they can anticipate exactly what they hope to find the next time they happen through an airport. For more information visit



Float Hybrid is an interactive technology development and design firm building one of a kind consumer experiences. Based in San Francisco, the company’s passionate collective of creatives and technologists provide a unique blend of forward thinking strategy, cutting-edge design, and interactive technology development. For more information, visit or send an email to



MasterClass: ‘Re-Sparkling’ Retail: Using Store Design to Build Trust, Faith and Brand Loyalty

HOW CAN WE EMPOWER and inspire senior leaders to see design as an investment for future retail growth? This session, led by retail design expert Ian Johnston from Quinine Design, explores how physical stores remain unmatched in the ability to build trust, faith, and loyalty with your customers, ultimately driving shareholder value.

Presented by:
Ian Johnston
Founder and Creative Director, Quinine Design

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