DURHAM – If food and beverage retailers had any doubts about how Phononic’s “sustainable” freezers would look in their stores, they’re in luck.

The Durham-startup has teamed up with Extality, a developer of mobile virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to create a photorealistic AR app for food and beverage professionals.

The Imagine app – called “a leap forward in AR/VR product marketing” — allows store owners to project a virtual image of Phononic’s recently released F200 Merchandising Freezer into their retail environment using the camera on a smart phone.

It also gives users the chance to cycle through custom exterior branding options and share content of potential placements with marketers.

“Up until recently, AR had not progressed to the point where it could be reliably used to test both fit and function of a specific product in high detail, and we had never seen a successful demonstration of the technology in the food and beverage vertical,” Arash Keshmirian, co-founder at Extality, said in a statement.

[Click on this site to see a video of the app demo and the Phononic freezers.]

“We are proud to partner with Phononic to help retailers reimagine dynamic product placement with AR, and ultimately drive more valuable in-store experiences for shoppers.”

Launched in 2009 by Tony Atti, Phononic was recently named a CNBC Disruptor 50 honoree for its work creating a scalable semiconductor platform.

In July, it officially begun mass production  has begun mass production of its new Phononic F200 Merchandising Freezer and Phononic C200 Merchandising Refrigerator.

Instead of loud, bulky compressors, the products are powered by thermoelectric chips to deliver “precise temperature control and energy efficiency.”

The result: multiple placement opportunities in a retail setting – from checkout counters to mid-aisle and endcap displays, the firm said.

Durham startup Phononic begins mass production of ‘sustainable’ freezers, refrigerators