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High Tech Toy Packaging: The Next Big Thing?

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) – From band-aids that project videos of your favorite characters to Legos that let you see how all the bricks look put together, marketers are putting technology to the test on product packaging.

“You can see the action figure moving around before you buy it. We’re also seeing it on food products that can pop out and show you recipes or ideas that link to other websites, ” says Scott Stein of cnet.com.

It’s called augmented reality. That’s when an object appears to come to life using a special app and your smart phone’s screen. Just hold the phone over a certain point on the label and you’ll see all kinds of things about the product.

“So, it will look 3-D and it will look like it’s on that piece of paper or on that product but it’s only being held on your phone,” says Stein.

Why put this much effort into the packaging?

“A lot of packages are designed to create the sale,” says Ron Hill a Villanova University professor. Expect to see a lot more augmented reality when buying a car, at the supermarket and especially at the toy store.

But, not everyone is completely sold on the new tech trend.

“It may seem confusing and it may seem cooler than it actually is. It may just be an animation that says hello or an animation of a model of a product you want to buy,” says Stein.

Either way, marketing gurus say the trend is likely here to stay.

“There are industries where competition is really demanding it in order to be competitive,” explains Hill.

So look for this new experience before you even open the box.

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