Augmented Reality in a retail application

At CES in Las Vegas there are some traditional technologies on display, but it’s the things we’ve never seen before that really tend to spark some interest.  One such thing struck me the moment I walked through the door – Augmented Reality demonstrated with retail application.

At the Intel booth (presumably to show that Intel have the technology to power this kind of thing), there was a very simple display.  A TV screen embedded into a wall.  Along side it sat some Lego sets.  The idea here is to demonstrate a retail experience.

Imagine stepping through Myer for example, and picking up a box of Lego – Lego is a complex thing, and the photos on the box just can’t do justice to what you are about to create.  So when you have several to choose from, how do you know which is best?

Well, you take the box, and you hold it up to the screen – within seconds when you look into the screen you can see the finished Lego construction is ‘Built’ and sitting on top of the box you are holding. It’s not static, you can move the box, spin it around and have a look at the whole set.  Tilt it, spin it, no matter what you do as long as the whole front of the box is within the shot of the camera the Lego will be displayed.

I’ve seen this style technology used on the Nintendo 3DS where a set of cards are used to ‘project’ characters into ‘real world’ scenarios and allowing you to interact with them like a game.

Augmented Reality in a retail application

It really is quite stunning, and while lots of these concepts are just that – I can really see this making its way into retail.

Amazing technology at work.


Trevor Long travelled to CES as a guest of Intel