Catch Those iButterflies!

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SM Supermalls lives up to its tagline “We’ve got it all for you!” as it presented the iButterfly mobile application for the always connected generation last Saturday, May 5 at the SM North EDSA The Block Atrium.

The iButterfly application incorporates the latest technologies in retailing— Augmented Reality, Motion Sensors and Global Positioning System (GPS). Using mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads and Android devices, the combined technologies result in an application that lets you catch virtual butterflies that represent prizes / special offers from participating mall merchants when you are within the mall vicinity itself. Read up on the app details on this website.

The event was entertaining and interactive. Bloggers, shoppers and guests were given a chance to join some games and try out the application to win freebies and prizes. I arrived midway through the event to find the Pass the Message game, sponsored by Smart, ongoing. Afterwards, there was the race to catch the most branded virtual butterflies. It was a lot of fun watching people hoist up their mobile devices in the air hoping to catch those colorful butterflies. Celebrity kid Arkin Magalona won a new TV by being the first to catch seven (7) branded virtual butterflies.

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Celebrities like the Magalona family (mom Pia with kids Maxene, Saab and Arkin), all-female band General Luna, stylist Liz Uy, along with some other personalities and bloggers, graced the morning event which was hosted by Raymond Gutierrez.

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I didn’t have an iPhone, iPad or an Android device to use in the event itself, but I was able to borrow my nephew’s iPad later at home. I had earlier instructed him to download the iButtefly app, which he did. The interface / menu navigation was easy, but trying to catch those butterflies was another thing. Maybe I had a hard time because I was trying to catch butterflies in the iPad on one hand and taking pictures of the iButterfly experience with the other hand. But maybe if I had a smaller device like an iPhone or Android phone perhaps, I would have had an easier time catching those pesky butterflies.

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Below are the butterflies that my nephew and I caught. His catch, which consisted of BDO butterflies, was from SM Fairview on the same day of the SM North EDSA event. Mine were the generic ones which I caught at home. I would love to catch butterflies with freebies or discounts from food establishments.

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This new shopping innovation would make it very convenient for shoppers to know the latest products and/or promos of mall tenants, as the info is given in real time when you’re in the mall. However, the act of trying to catch the virtual butterfly with your gadgets in a public place is awkward, especially if you’re using a bigger tablet device (as opposed to a phone). Something like a text message or a picture from a participating store simply appearing on your phone may be better. But then, that wouldn’t be a novelty and might not get the shopper’s attention. Let’s see if this latest technology would catch on and be a permanent feature of our shopping experience.

The iButterfly app was initially launched last Easter Sunday at SM Cyberzone. The SM iButterfly app is in line with the SM iButterfly Hunt promotion which runs from May 5 to June 30. The SM Supermalls iButterfly Hunt runs only in selected SM Supermalls: North EDSA, Mall of Asia, Megamall, Fairview, Southmall, Baguio, Davao, and Cebu. Promo mechanics are posted here.

Go catch those butterflies to get prizes, discounts and freebies!

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