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Hammacher Schlemmer unveils “first augmented reality catalog"


NEW YORK - New York City retailer Hammacher Schlemmer is pioneering what may well be the next evolution of catalog shopping with the launch of what it describes as the “first augmented reality catolog.”

"It's the next best thing to visiting our landmark Manhattan store in person," said Rich Tinberg, Hammacher Schlemmer's CEO.

To access the catalog, users download the free Hammacher Schlemmer app for iPad, and then scan specially marked catalog pages to overlay a three-dimensional image of a product that literally jumps off the page. Users can zoom in and out, spin the item 360 degrees, play videos, and easily access helpful information such as user manuals and customer reviews with just a touch. Items can even be purchased directly from the app.

"Our new augmented reality catalog fits right in with our rich tradition of innovation," said Tinberg. "It lets readers interact with our unique products in a new way that's not possible with any other catalog."

Hammacher Schlemmer's reputation for innovation usually centers on its products. Among the revolutionary items the company has helped launch are such household staples as the pop-up toaster, the microwave oven, and the cordless telephone.

But the 166-year company has also pioneered progressive conveniences to enhance its customers' shopping experience. It was one of the original 271 subscribers to the Bell Telephone Company, one of the first stores to install electric lighting, and among the first online retailers during the 1980s.

"We are very pleased to offer our customers this new technology that blends the familiarity of our catalog with the multimedia capabilities of the iPad," added Tinberg.

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