The beauty of online shopping during the holidays has always been its utter convenience and ease, a survival-of-the-fittest system protecting the tech-savvy from the Tickle Me Elmo-induced stampedes at your local Caldor. Though beyond purchasing toys and books, other buying online--since the days of yore--has been hindered by customers’ inability to properly scrutinize a product, whether it’s checking on the fit of that XXL throwback or how that new flatscreen figures into that TV stand meant to house a ‘90s vintage.
Tesco, Britain’s answer to Wal-Mart, has alleviated that problem with a new catalog program generating full-sized 3D renders of products. Customers need only hold up the catalog image in front of a webcam to have the products come to life atop the catalog, as if the most awesome pop-up book imaginable.
For now, Tesco only offers 40 products, but its augmented reality selection is said to be widening. Frugal (read: evil) parents of the world, let’s hope Toys 'R’ Us gets this thing figured out as well. So come Christmas, with only a Big Book, you can fool your kids into thinking that 3D Millennium Falcon is actually some cool, real thing.