Wednesday, 19 January 2011

ARmchair shopping

Augmented Reality (AR) is tipped to transform the consumer experience. AR, also known as "interactive video technology" is on the rise. The FT cites predictions from marketing group ABI Research that the AR market in the US alone will grow to US$350m by 2014, from US$6m in 2008. Indeed a number of fashion and luxury brands are already getting involved:
  • Tissot ran an AR campaign with Selfridges in May 2010 enabling shoppers to virtually try on its watches using a screen in Selfridges windows.
  • eBay has recently launched an AR app which can be used to digitally try on sunglasses by superimposing the glasses design over the user's face.
  • Back in November 2010, H&M launched an iPhone app with GoldRun which allows shoppers to try on outfits virtually.
  • Hawes & Curtis have launched a virtual fitting room on its website in collaboration with FitsMe, who have developed an adaptable mannequin to ensure you get the perfect fit for your shirt or suit.
Some brands clearly see the benefits of investing in this technology early to further grow their online sales. While Fashionista marvels at the clever wizardry that means she can snap up a fabulous frock from the comfort of her sofa, she wonders whether it can replace the real-life experience of trying on clothes, feeling the fabric and working out if she can justify the price tag on the gorgeous heels to match!


Designer said...

Hi Sarah,
I'm from and wanted to thank you for writing about us. You might be surprised how little-by-little the technology brings more of the real life fitting room to the internet. In the science labs there are already devices that let you virtually "feel" the fabrics, or enjoy the virtual "smell" of a new leather jacket. When all of these become mainstream, one wonders, what becomes of the traditional retail?