Peering into Tesco's augmented reality

Peering into Tesco's augmented reality

Summary: Tesco has kicked off augmented reality trials in Extra stores across the south east, building on a web-based tool that lets shoppers look at 3D images of products not found on shelves

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TOPICS: Apps
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  • Tesco augmented reality Lego display

    Tesco is running an augmented reality (AR) trial in six of its stores, giving shoppers a 3D look at products on sale but not found on shelves.

    For the pilot, which kicked off on Wednesday, the retail giant has placed computers with webcams in store aisles in Tesco Extra supermarkets in Milton Keynes, Wembley, Borehamwood, Cheshunt, New Malden and Hatfield. Shoppers can hold a Tesco Direct catalogue page or Tesco Clubcard to the webcam to generate an image of a product, then manipulate the page or card to see different aspects of it.

    "It is not often not practically possible to display, for example, the more than 180 televisions that sell in a store," a Tesco spokeswoman told ZDNet UK. "Through AR we are able to offer realistic and life-size representations of what that product will look like."

    Tesco expects to run the trials to the end of the year, with weekly checks on how it is going. The in-store programme uses the same augmented reality tool provided on Tesco's website, with the technology provided by Kishino.

    Screenshot: ZDNet UK

  • Tesco augmented reality webcam

    To use the store's augmented reality tool at home, people need a PC with a webcam, either built-in or USB-connected. They then need to download the Kishino augmented reality browser plug-in, which needs a minimum spec browser of either Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox 3. Chrome and Safari are not supported.

    Next they select an item from a list of 30 AR-ready products. At the moment, there are 10 Samsung televisions, 10 Lego models and 10 trailers for DVDs and games to choose from. The tool then opens a browser page with a marked-out rectangle (shown above) where the Tesco Direct cover or other marker should be positioned.

    Screenshot: ZDNet UK

Topic: Apps

Karen Friar

About Karen Friar

Karen Friar is news editor for ZDNet in the UK, based in London. She started out in film journalism in San Francisco, before making the switch to tech coverage at ZDNet.com. Next came a move to CNET News.com, where she looked after west coast coverage of business technology, and finally a return to her homeland with ZDNet UK.

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4 comments
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  • THIS MAY BE AN ATTEMPT BY TESCO TO GET MORE CHRISTMAS PRODUCTS OUT THERE WHILE STILL HAVING THEIR REGULAR ITEMS ON DISPLAY. SAVING TIME TO SWAP THINGS AROUND AND DOUBLE THE ITEMS THEY SELL. IT COULD BE MAYBE JUST TOYS THEY WANT TO PROMOTE PLUS OTHER CHRISTMAS ITEMS. ITEMS THAT PEOPLE ARE AWARE OF AND DON’T NEED TO SEE THE PRODUCT. LET’S FACE IT YOU ONLY SEE A PICTURE ON A BOX ANYWAY SO THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE IN JUST SHOWING A 3D PICTURE OF ON A SCREEN. BUT I CAN’T IMAGE WHAT THE QUEUES WILL BE LIKE WAITING AT THE SCREENS TO USE THEM IF THEY DO GET POPULAR.
    SAYING IN THEIR WRITE UP "IT IS NOT OFTEN NOT PRACTICALLY POSSIBLE TO DISPLAY, FOR EXAMPLE, THE MORE THAN 180 TELEVISIONS THAT SELL IN A STORE," A TESCO SPOKESWOMAN TOLD ZDNET UK. "THROUGH AR WE ARE ABLE TO OFFER REALISTIC AND LIFE-SIZE REPRESENTATIONS OF WHAT THAT PRODUCT WILL LOOK LIKE." THEY MUST BE SAYING THIS TONGUE IN CHEEK. BECAUSE WHO WOULD BUY A TV FROM A PICTURE ON A TV, WHEN THEY WENT TO THE STORE TO SEE THE PICTURE QUALITY IN REAL LIFE. BUT ONE NEVER KNOWS.
    IT WOULD BE JUST AS EASY TO STAY HOME AND ORDER ON LINE IF IT’S JUST A PICTURE YOU ARE GETTING TO SEE AT THE STORE.
    WHICH EVER WAY AROUND THIS WILL PAN OUT IT CERTAINLY SHOULD APPEAL TO THE PEOPLE THAT DON’T WANT TO TRAIPSE AROUND A STORE LOOKING FOR WHAT THEY WANT. AND IF TESCO DO START A SYSTEM LIKE THIS OTHER ONLINE ENTREPRENEURS WILL JUMP ON THE BAND WAGON WITH LOWER PRICES BECAUSE IT’S ONLY A SHORT STEP AWAY FROM FULL ONLINE MARKETING. WHICH MAY LEAD TO A FULL ONLINE SHOPPING DEAL FOR A LOT OF PRODUCTS. TESCO ARE STEPPING ON A THIN PIECE OF MARKETING ICE. HOWEVER IT MAY WORK FOR ONE CHRISTMAS PERIOD. IN THE END IT COULD BE ONLY APPEALING TO THE CUSTOMER WHO DON’T HAVE AN INTERNET CONNECTION.
    AND OF CAUSE THIS COULD BE A DROP SHIPPING EXERCISE, WITH TESCO NOT EVER SEEING THE ITEM. I CAN’T SEE A TRIP BACK TO THE STORE TO PICK THE ITEM UP, THIS WOULD BE VERY UNPRODUCTIVE. SO DO YOU TAKE THE NUMBER OF THE ITEM OFF THE IN STORE TV TO THE CHECK OUT, GIVE YOUR DELIVERY ADDRESS, THEN GO HOME AND WAIT. JUST AS IF YOU HAD BOUGHT IT ON LINE IN THE FIRST PLACE. IF THIS IS THE CASE NOT HUMPING HOME LARGE CARTONS HAS TO BE A BONUS.
    ukatama
  • I CAN SHOUT TOO.
    timydadle
  • timydadle, you can also write shorthand that we are supposed to understand. If you want to comment please expand on this your word entry. That's if you have anything constructive to add.
    ukatama
  • ukatama, I have no idea whether what you wrote makes sense or not because your text hurts my eyes.

    Take the caps lock off and use line breaks.
    DogSlobba