Cows, pigs and trees are made to appear in shopping trolleys at a supermarket experimenting with augmented reality in Northern France.

Shoppers heading into the Super U supermarket store in Thourotte, northern France, might have been surprised had they used a shopping trolley.

The retailer, working with advertising agency TBWA, installed a giant 3.6m mirror made up of LED screens at the heart of the store, for one day only.

Thanks to the technology, those passing the screen with a trolley were detected by the system. The mirror then showed the shoppers with their trolley and a piece of augmented reality that meant they might find anything from a pig to a cow in the cart as part of the image.

These images were animated and moved with the shoppers as they passed in front of the screen.

This, apparently, is the kind of thing normally restricted to mobiles or tablets as the algorithm required to detect and orchestrate augmented reality at a distance of more than a few metres is something of a technical feat.

The outcome is something really different and possessed of that rare ability to make a supermarket the sort of place that shoppers might choose to linger in.