Amazon In 3D? Is That Useful?

from the gimmick-or-useful? dept

Earlier this year, we talked about getting beyond the "webpage" metaphor when setting up online shopping experiences, and noted how Borders was testing a virtual bookshelf system that seemed more gimmicky than useful. Well, now it appears that Amazon has one-upped Borders by offering WindowShop, a 3D shopping experience... and once again I find myself underwhelmed. While it also has something of a shelf metaphor, it has some advantages in that clicking on any individual "product" can bring up audio, video and text about the product. However, it still feels rather gimmicky rather than useful. For years people have tried to create 3D browsing systems online and they never seem more useful than just straight webpages. In fact, in trying to replicate a 3D environment, it often feels like they're more limited than what a single webpage could do.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Aaron, Oct 28th, 2008 @ 6:10pm

    It is very gimmicky, but if it would integrate the Amazon recommendations, it would be a far better way to browse them.

    After playing around with it, I actually wanted to see my recommendations and I looked for a way to login. It seems it is just a static top-whatever list, so I doubt I'll pay much attention to it in the future.

     

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  2.  
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    Overcast, Oct 28th, 2008 @ 6:38pm

    Doesn't sound too useful, really.

    It wasn't as slow as I thought it would be at first, but I'd still prefer the straight-up pages they use now.

    Really, when I'm shopping or looking for information, the less frills the better. It's why I liked Google, but they are even going overboard a bit now. That new layout on iGoogle kinda sucks.

     

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  3.  
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    Kyros, Oct 28th, 2008 @ 6:50pm

    Not actually too bad

    If they used their space more effectively, a medium like this could actually be much faster to use then a traditional 2d webpage. A great example is the cool iris extension for firefox which makes finding images much quicker then normal 2d pages.

     

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  4.  
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    Mogilny, Oct 28th, 2008 @ 9:16pm

    No Value Added

    What people do on amazon is shop and browse. The flash app does increase interactivity but fails to improve browsing effectiveness. They could have done a lot more with a 3d engine. I rate this app a C.

     

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  5.  
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    Bob, Oct 28th, 2008 @ 10:03pm

    What I Would Like To See

    Would be for Amazon to work and load faster.

     

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  6.  
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    Alan, Oct 28th, 2008 @ 11:34pm

    How about TV purchasing and browsing

    hi,
    A nice interface that would work fine for TV purchasing by remote control without a keyboard, rather than text based typing and browsing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    WarOtter (profile), Oct 29th, 2008 @ 6:07am

    Before we crit..

    Before we criticize this based on its functionality and usefulness, I think some lip service should be paid to Amazon for trying to innovate a little bit and trying to add more functionality to its system. It is nice to see a company takes some chances.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    WarOtter (profile), Oct 29th, 2008 @ 6:07am

    Before we crit..

    Before we criticize this based on its functionality and usefulness, I think some lip service should be paid to Amazon for trying to innovate a little bit and trying to add more functionality to its system. It is nice to see a company takes some chances.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2008 @ 7:49am

    keep in mind that the individuals to whom this may be aimed may be different from power users who read techdirt

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    aravind, Oct 29th, 2008 @ 7:53am

    I think this the first step towards 3d - web...

     

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  11.  
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    lance, Oct 29th, 2008 @ 11:05am

    unfair

    I think you are being a bit unfair to cooliris, I spent a couple of minutes with it and I agree, it is largely useless unless as someone else noted you like static top/new lists.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Scott, Nov 2nd, 2008 @ 5:08pm

    Getting closer

    It's good to see Amazon exploring new ways to visualize the shopping experience. At http://enjoy3d.com you can walk around inside of virtual stores that look more like real stores and allow better browsing that traditional web pages. There's 3D art poster stores, a 3D t-shirt store, 3D toystore and a 3D bookstore. More are coming.

     

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  13.  
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    Steve, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 7:53am

    Missing the Point, I Think

    I think you might be missing the point of this service. This is essentially the big display at the front of a record store. It's not meant to replace the Amazon site, it's just there to highlight new releases while stimulating the senses, and I think it does a great job of that. Instant previews of movies, games, music and audiobooks and big, beautiful eye-catching graphics are a great way to see what's new this week in 10 minutes with no clicking, just flying around this very attractive interface. I, for one, like it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Ana, Dec 19th, 2008 @ 11:55am

    3d Internet

    If the internet does go 3D, will 3d in front or back of a generic word regarding domain names be the next big investment? Example 3dBookstore.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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