Augmented Reality Adoption Increases

Stephen Yagielowicz

LOS ANGELES — The maturing technology of augmented reality got a boost from Britain’s biggest retailer, with the announcement of a deal between Tesco and Kishino.

According to the company, Kishino has enabled Tesco to be the first merchant in the world to successfully integrate augmented reality in a multi platform and multi channel retail environment — providing a system that reportedly is able to scale up to 200 times higher than any other augmented reality solution.

“Kishino enables consumers to interact with your products and brands like never before and delivers true retail theatre across platforms,” states the company’s website, which claims to offer tangible results for marketers. “Kishino helps you increase sales, decrease returns and provide a richer, more informative and more rewarding shopping experience for your customers.” states that Tesco is using Kishino’s augmented reality tools in its stores to relieve pressure on shelf space, and online to reduce the number of products returned by customers. Tesco’s system currently supports several dozen different items, providing users with the ability to virtually examine and manipulate the products, which ranges from televisions to toys.

The site goes on to state that online users will need to download a browser plugin, and hold a specified “marker,” such as a Tesco catalog or loyalty card, up in front of a computer equipped with a webcam. The marker will be digitally replaced onscreen with a virtual representation of an object that is physically manipulated as if held in your hand.

“By turning the marker [users] can, for example, ‘turn’ through 360 degrees the 3D image of a TV set that they are considering purchasing, in order to check whether it has all the inputs they need,” the article added. “With Lego, they can see exactly how the finished toy looks and get an impression of how complex the task of assembly might be for their child.”

The in-store version reportedly allows users to view items that may be too bulky for on-shelf display, with free home delivery for any orders. Terminals have been installed in several locations as a test of the new system.

Longtime industrial visionaries Pink Visual made an early splash in this game with its pioneering adult augmented reality offerings in early 2010 — but few other players have embraced the technology for adult applications yet — although that could easily change as consumers and online retailers embrace the benefits of this advancing technology.