A Walk-In App Store, Not Owned by Apple or Google

For those frustrated by the sheer number of mobile applications and little or no trustworthy reviews, buying an app is a gamble. Now those in Boulder, Colo. will get a little help -- not with an Apple or Google store but with Openspace, an independent app store offering "app gurus" and in-store displays to help puzzled users out.

Openspace, which is open six days a week, was started by Robert Reich, founder of start-up OneRiot -- which sold to Walmart in September for an undisclosed amount, according to AllThingsD.

Openspace is just getting off the ground, so all the details haven’t been nailed down — like how the operation will make money. But in the next year it hopes to partner with developers to take a percentage of sales that result from applications promoted in the store.

The store also has a website that features recommendations with such headings as "Zombies, Zombies, and Zombies" and  "Apps 10-Year-Old Girls Love."

Reich probably has more disposable income than the average entrepreneur to try such a unique experiment, but it's interesting to see if people will respond to live interaction rather than online. It may be that each Openspace could be a storefront for app developers, highlighting their games, and developers would pay a fee for that. But it's still not clear if those fees will bring in enough money for a real-life storefront that has to pay for insurance, rent, utilities and wages.

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