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I was just blown away when I saw this new online shopping technology called 3LiveShop from Stockholm-based B-Reel and Hi3G Access. Instead of tirelessly skimming through endless static product lists, 3LiveShop lets you engage in a one-on-one video session with a sales rep. But instead of a dull Skype-like voice chat, the sales representative on the other end converses with the customer augmented-reality style via a multitouch screen.

This is where the fun part begins. The setup allows the sales rep to drag phone images and other useful information across the screen, seen by the shopper as cool Minority Report-like overlays on top of the video feed. It’s just too cool not to mention it here. Imagine this tech put to work at the online Apple store. Wonder how this works? Read on…

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The setup on the sales rep side is fairly complex. In order to create an intimate augmented reality atmosphere, the technology involves high-resolution cameras, a multitouch touchscreen – even some mirrors.

Frontends for both the salesperson and the customer are connected to an existing e-commerce backend. Hardware components have been built by Teenage Engineering. The software component is based around Adobe Flash technology. B-Reel has only three units operational at the moment, but they plan on pitching the technology to a number of retailers.

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