By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
NEW YORK - e-SIM, which produces online product simulations for e-commerce and customer support, has developed a new version of its LiveManuals program that no longer requires a plug-in.
Previously, a one-time plug-in was necessary to run the simulations in order to keep the file sizes small and accessible to users, regardless of their connection speed. But e-SIM has developed a proprietary way to create the product simulations without a plug-in, while still keeping the file sizes small.
According to Bill Sims, president/CEO of e-SIM's LiveProducts division, the requirement of plug-ins and downloads has been "one of the most substantial barriers to the use and enjoyment of advanced technology on the Web. We believe this new solution will enhance the user experience, as well as benefit our sales and syndication efforts of our simulation solutions to manufacturers and retailers alike."
LiveManuals creates virtual consumer electronics products that look, sound and behave like actual devices, along with "show me how" feature demonstrations and interactive user manuals to support e-commerce, marketing and customer support initiatives. The plug-in-free simulations will soon be available on e-SIM's recently launched customer support site, LiveManuals.com.
There, consumers can access comprehensive information on more than 10,000 products, experience simulations, and access user manuals online from more than 40 manufacturers. After consumers "operate" the product online, the site can connect them to pages where they can compare prices and make purchases.
In other e-SIM news, the LiveProducts division has signed its second agreement with Maytag to develop LiveManuals simulation solutions.
Under the terms of the agreement, e-SIM will develop an interactive, functional simulation of Maytag's Neptune dryer that will allow consumers and retailers to test drive the controls and learn the key product benefits online. The virtual Neptune will be presented on www.maytag.com and www.livemanuals.com, where it will join e-SIM's existing online simulation of the breakthrough Neptune washer.
According to Janet Reents, Maytag's Internet marketing coordinator, "Consumers typically purchase a washer and dryer together, so we wanted to offer the consumer the benefits of trying the product online and seeing how it works. We believe that offering interactive, functional LiveManuals simulations on our site can help influence a consumer's purchase decision by allowing them to experience the benefits firsthand."
e-SIM was founded in Israel in 1990. Its simulation technology builds off its RapidPLUS line of software products, which e-SIM said, enables product designers and engineers to create simulated computer prototypes of electronic products that are functional, interactive and behaviorally identical to the manufactured products and systems.
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