December 26, 2000, 9:55 AM

Looking Beyond Paper

(Page 4 of 4)

It’s no surprise, then, that Sharper Image is using one of the newest technical gimmicks to hit Internet retailing-three-dimensional product images and accompanying sound-to generate interest in the company’s Web site. “Visiting a Web store shouldn’t be a static experience,” says Sharper Image CEO Richard Thalheimer. “This 3-D program makes shopping online at Sharper Image interactive for our customers.”

The technology enables shoppers to click on an item, view the item from the front, back or sides and listen to the product’s sound features. So far about 16 items, ranging from a $40 ear-and-nose-hair trimmer to a $229 portable air purifier, are available for 3-D viewing. While about tk visitors have viewed the 3-D-enhanced merchandise since February, it’s too soon to tell whether the program will add another dimension where it counts the most-to Sharper Image’s bottom line.

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