Augmented Reality Helps Barnes & Noble in Montgomeryville Increase Sales

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Google Lens Books Barnes & Noble
Image via Barnes & Noble Facebook.

Many publishers and booksellers are trying out new technologies such as augmented reality to help them survive in the rapidly-changing publishing world and reach a new generation of readers, writes Jennifer Alsever for Fortune.

And for Barnes & Noble in Montgomeryville, it seems to be working. The store has set up a stand with books that support Google Lens, a feature on smartphones, that allows people to use their camera to scan items to get more detailed information on them.

Thanks to the app, shoppers can see a number of science fiction and fantasy book covers come alive, for example in the form of a fire-breathing dragon. They can also watch a video of the author talking about the book.

“The Google Lens covers are definitely increasing sales,” said Sean Curran, a manager of Barnes & Noble in Montgomeryville.

The store usually prominently displays books with well-known tie-ins, such as a Netflix show, or a literary award nomination. While these books and their authors are mostly unknown to the general public, they sold just as well as their more prominent counterparts, said Curran.

Read more about the bookseller’s efforts with Google Lens in Fortune.

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