Welcome to Osaka, the global consumer test city. This is where polite Ai Doormen loaded with information, welcome you when you enter the malls. Osaka Grand Front is a test mall for the big brands of the world. This is where the likes of Nike and Mercedes compete with new and futuristic ways to the consumer’s heart.
After spending 30 minutes, in a packed train, full of suits and no sound, I was happy to arrive at the Osaka station to hear the noise again, making sure my hearing was excellent. It amazes me that all the trains in Japan are more silent than a church with “silence please” written everywhere.
The area you arrive in is called the Umeda Area. Exiting the station, you will see a mall called “Grand Front Osaka.” Go inside and be amazed by the architecture, make your way to the contemporary Mercedes coffee shop, that doubles as a store selling merchandise and cars. The first of its kind.
This mall is a test station where products are tested on consumers before they are mass produced. On top of the building, there is a start-up hub called “the knowledge salon,” subsidized by the Japanese government to get good ideas commercialized. They test the products at the mall. They have demonstrators that show customers the products and collect feedback to the entrepreneurs.
On the first floor, you can find the Café lab, where visitors can learn and share knowledge with their coffee by using the tablets on the tables. Go up the stairs and check out the AI personal shopping assistant, and try clothes on in a hologram of yourself. “The Active lab” is a place to experience new technology and to help design it even better. If you want to help create the technology of the future, this is the place to go. Read more about this test mall here. The latest in fashion, branding, and interior from High profiled brands are presented here, to get feedback from consumers before they mass produce.
Make your way to the top floor and have lunch in one of the themed restaurants and check yourself in on the interactive machine, and share it on social media. Try the restaurant that grows their own vegetables on site,or the one that breeds their own fish. Guaranteed free of toxins.