March 21, 2006, 12:00 AM

2006 slated for roll-outs of video-based shopping on the web

Companies including M2B World Inc., Viewpoint Corp. and United Virtualities are behind e-commerce systems that are merging video programming and online shopping.

 

Companies including M2B World Inc., Viewpoint Corp. and United Virtualities are behind e-commerce systems that are merging video programming and online shopping.

“Video is here to stay on the web, whether in advertising or other content,” says Patrick Vogt, CEO of Viewpoint and a former executive in charge of web sites at Sony Corp. and Dell Inc. “Consumers are driving it, because they want a richer experience on the web.”

 

New York-based United Virtualities, for example, is offering a technology it calls Shoshmosis, which develops interactive HDTV content so that viewers can click on any item in a video viewed on the web to link to an e-commerce page, a pop-up for additional product information, or a complementary banner ad, the company says.

 

Its web site, UnitedVirtualities.com, shows how Shoshmosis can work in a demonstration based on a clip of the TV show “Friends.” Mousing over a Friends character in the video clip produces a pop-up window showing details of what he or she is wearing-for example, a Donna Karan dress made of cashmere and wool, with the option to put the image of the dress in the pop-up into one of three colors, then click a button to purchase the preferred version online.

 

M2B World Inc., a unit of Amaru Inc., is planning to introduce to the U.S. market this year TV set-top boxes, already available in Japan and Singapore, that let TV viewers using an IPTV Internet connection use voice-activated controls to access niche TV programs and related e-commerce sites. Some of these shows may feature products that are available on M2B’s apparel and accessories site StarzMall.com or beauty products site RoyalHive.com, a spokeswoman says.

 

“There will be a day soon when you can click a TV remote and buy what you see on the TV screen, it’s been in the lab for a decade,” says Mike Fitzsimmons, CEO of Delivery Agent, which is working with ABC TV to let consumers shop for products featured on TV programs at ShopABCTV.com. “We’ll be rolling out in the second quarter of this year technology to enable you to do that in a beta test in 300,000 homes.”

 

 

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