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Experiment By St. Louis Start-Up and Google Turns Shopping Into a 3D Game

Michael Calhoun (@michaelcalhoun, mrcalhoun@cbs.com)
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A look at what the Project Tango collaboration between Aisle411 and Google will look like. (Aisle411 image)

A look at what the Project Tango collaboration between Aisle411 and Google will look like. (Aisle411 image)

calhoun2 Michael Calhoun
A native St. Louisan, Michael Calhoun grew up listening to the Voice...
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – For anyone who’s ever had to aimlessly dart all over an unfamiliar grocery store to grab everything, St. Louis start-up Aisle411’s app is like a GPS for that inefficient shopping list.

The company has mapped out the shelves of some 12,500 stores across the country.

That’s what prompted Google to call.

The tech giant was working on an augmented reality device called “Project Tango” that would recognize surrounding environments and add 3D elements.

“That team actually reached out to us and said, hey, we think the work you’ve done in organizing all the retailers’ data could instantly apply to ‘Project Tango’ and bring it to life,” Aisle411 co-founder Nathan Pettyjohn told KMOX News.

What came out of their collaboration is a device that hooks to the handle of a shopping cart and transforms shopping into a 3D game.

How does Project Tango work?

NewsRadio 1120 KMOX

“You can get a navigation line on the floor that is 3D augmented reality, and routes you through the store with the most efficient path of your shopping list,” Pettyjohn explains.

On either side of you, items are highlighted on the shelves and, in front, offers pop out into the air. Those deals can be personalized based on, for instance, browsing history or membership in a loyalty program.

If the original Aisle411 app is a sort-of GPS for shopping, then this like is street view on steroids.

Walgreens is the first “Project Tango” retail partner. The partnership — and the technology — was unveiled this week at the annual Google I/O conference in San Francisco.

 

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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