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Retailers using 'augmented reality' to attract customers

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- From identifying flowers to tracking crime, augmented reality blends the real world with the digital world.

The technology can even help you find your car if you forget where you parked it.

Now, AR is becoming a popular tool for retailers and advertisers.

Diane Santurri, an associate professor at Johnson and Wales University, says AR is changing the way consumers choose products.

"The phone is so easy to use, so simple to use. That's why it's becoming more popular," Santurri said. "In the coming months, I'm sure we're going to see a lot more content with AR built into it."

"There are so many things that you can use that will save you a lot of time with not having to go into the store," she added. "We're going to start to see a lot more technology within the store constraint, too. A lot of the retailers are starting to get on board with it."

Facebook is also on board. The social media giant recently introduced a Michael Kors AR ad that allows users to try on different sunglasses.

CNET's Scott Stein told CBS News that advertisers are hoping consumers will share photos of themselves interacting with the ads.

"In a lot of these things where you're trying on sunglasses or changing the way you look, you can also could be taking photos and sharing that which means you're transmitting the ad yourself," Stein explained.

Michael Kors was the first to test AR ads on Facebook.  Facebook told CBS News Sephora and other companies will roll out their own interactive ads in the coming months.


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