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Tesco has today launched its first augmented reality programme that will allow customers to view 3D images of more than 40 products from the electronics and entertainment sections both instore or online.

Powered by augmented reality firm Kishino, people can use computer terminals now located in seven Tesco stores across the UK to scan a product code or Tesco Direct catalogue. 

Shown in the video below, this will then display a 3D image and product information on screen, potentially removing the necessity to store products on shelves.

Customers can choose to buy the product instore or have it delivered to their homes via Tesco Direct.

If a customer choses to install a browser plugin, they can do the same at home using any device with a two-way camera - such as a desktop computer or smartphone.

Tesco has said that it hopes the use of augmented reality on customers' home desktops will reduce the number of returns, as people can get an idea of the size of the product before ordering online.

Tesco is pushing hard in terms of integrating technology into the shopping experience, using semantic tagging within its product searches online and trialling wifi in some of its stores.

Alongside successful forays into social media with Tesco Clothing and Tesco Books via We Are Social, the company bought US-based word-of-mouth company BzzAgent for a reported $60 million earlier this year to better connect social media with product marketing.

Vikki Chowney

Published 17 November, 2011 by Vikki Chowney

Vikki is head of community at TMW. You can follow her on Twitter or Google+

249 more posts from this author

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Uncleunvoid

What a waste of money. I wonder if I ever want to browse the shelves before going to get my milk.
And I wonder if I ever was disappointed by the size or appearance of any product they sell. Now if they could do a taste sample, there you would have me.
I wonder if anyone in the digital department there has any idea how much of a flow place any Tesco branch is. People don't browse. They go in to get the stuff they know they need or at least I am sure thats true for a good 70%+.

What a gimmick.

about 5 years ago

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Marcus

Please discuss above....

about 5 years ago

Vikki Chowney

Vikki Chowney, Head of Social at TMW

But this isn't for milk etc, it's for electrical goods largely...

I think quite a few people tend to browse before putting upwards of £500 on the table.

For me it's more appropriate to online buyers, since it's not totally out of the realms of possibility that if you order a television online, that you might be disappointed with size.

If I was instore, I'd rather touch and feel a new television - but from Tesco's perspective it could be useful in streamlining shelf space.

about 5 years ago

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Anton Ball

I love the concept, Congratulations on such forward thinking, the possibilities are endless, will certainly buy into this.

about 5 years ago

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Judi

This is a good concept but nothing new. My colleague Michael Conroy wrote about this back in 2009 on Wired.co.uk. He shared a video about a clothing shop using this feature.

http://bit.ly/uyFne4

about 5 years ago

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Steve

Just a comment... I would generally go to a shop to view a product. Why would I go to a shop to use a computer... unless I was in PC World?

I think it's a good move to reduce returns when buying online, but pointing a phone at a laptop seems a little disjointed... come on Tesco, get your creative caps on!

Steve

about 5 years ago

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Depesh Mandalia, Head of Digital Marketing at Lost My Name

Kudos to the innovation Tesco are running - be useful to question the objectives and possibilities rather than knocking innovation. Some things stick, some don't. It's about extending boundaries, learning and evolving...

about 5 years ago

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Tokes

Nice concept but has anyone actually got it to work on Tesco's site? Doesn't work for me or my colleagues...

about 5 years ago

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Paul Munford

It's not a new concept or product but its great to see it come of age.

Nice one.

about 5 years ago

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Matt

Odd to see a forward looking company like Tesco being so wide of the mark. I have to download software, then print out an image, have a webcam, and only then can I see a fuzzy 3D image of the product.

Surely a 3D 360 image or video would be less hassle for the consumer, and therefore lead to a great number of online sales.

Dam, I bet Amazon are angry they did not think of using this tech first!

10 points for trying, nil points for usefulness.

about 5 years ago

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Dave

Great concept but I doubt this will be a winner. The woman in the video is trying so hard to make it work but even she is uncomfortable. Can you imagine your mum trying to work this out? Impossible!

about 5 years ago

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Carlos Lluberes

Great concept, let's wait for real sales results.

about 5 years ago

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Damian Rees

Very interesting idea, but is this a great user experience or a gimmick? We've written about this in our blog: http://www.experiencesolutions.co.uk/blog/2011/11/24/augmented-reality-%E2%80%93-good-experience-or-gimmick/

about 5 years ago

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