What's The Deal: Using augmented reality to shop online

Online shopping is convenient, but when it comes to pricey purchases like furniture or cars, it can be hard to buy based on photos.

That's where a Utah company comes in.

Seek is now working with big brands like Amazon, Overstock, Lego, and Volvo to bring those 2D images to 3D life through augmented reality.

What you see isn't always what you get, when it comes to shopping online. That two-dimensional picture can only show you so much when it comes to clothes, furniture, and even toys.

But entrepreneur, Jon Cheney and his company, Seek, are trying to change that.

"When you're shopping for something online you already, you're used to clicking on a picture or video, something to help visualize it," said Cheney.

Augmented reality like this is changing the game when it comes to buying on the web, making sure you purchase exactly what you had in mind.

"This takes it to the next level. It lets you see what it looks like in your life and it makes a big difference in knowing that when you've ordered this expensive kitchen table online that you've made the right decision," said Cheney.

The great thing about AR is that it shows up on the newer Android and Apple phones.

"Google and Apple provide a lot of the hard lifting that we use," says Chief Technology Officer, Thane Brimhall.

For websites that have the tech, you just click on the photo and select the AR view, allowing you to see items as if you're there in person - like if a couch or table will fit in you home, or if a car will have trouble fitting in your garage or on your driveway.

"This even helps in the store. We actually work right now with Walmart and Walmart has in-store QR codes that somebody can just scan and see a product out of the box. What's it going to look like when it's set up? We believe that through augmented reality, people can create a better experience upfront, make better decisions and therefore avoid all the headaches associated with a bad purchase." said Cheney.

And for shoe lovers, Seek says it's pairing up with Vans to use AR for measuring shoe sizes.

"There's lots of really interesting things that are going on in that space right now," said Brimhall.

That feature is expected to be ready for launch in the next two years.

It's not just retailers using Seek's technology. They have partnered with a number of animal shelters to give adopters a better look at potential pets.
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