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AOL Adds Product Simulation to Shopping Network

In an effort to simulate the advantages of offline shopping, America Online Inc. Wednesday teamed with e-SIM to offer interactive product demonstrations to its Shop@AOL e-commerce network.

Shoppers can participate in product simulations and animated features displays for items such as phones, digital video cameras, DVD players and audio systems. The LiveProducts service emulates the design and sounds of the product and can demonstrate how to operate the various gadgets.

"Our agreement with e-SIM to offer innovative product simulations to our members, brings us one step closer to our goals of revolutionizing and simplifying our members' online shopping experience," said Patrick Gates, AOL's vice president of e-commerce.

The new service is expected to make Shop@AOL more like a live shopping experience, according Marc Belzberg, e-SIM's chairman and interim CEO.

LiveProducts is expected to be available on the AOL (AOL) shopping network by the fall.

e-SIM (EIM) will soon be launching its own separate new product simulation portal, livemanuals.com.

AOL's shopping network was launched July 26, and has since inked deals with a string of companies such as eToys, the GAP, and Furniture.com.