A view of how digital and physical will merge

The digital and the physical world is merging, no doubt about it. Not only are we starting to expect digital features or alternatives in a lot of our everyday interactions, but we are also starting to expect more and more from our physical objects and environments.
And we’re going to see a lot of this in the fashion and retail segment looking forward. An article in Vouge Business suggests that the advances in machine learning, mixed reality technologies and adaptable and reactive materials, together will change our perceptions of digital versus physical. Forecasting agency The Future Laboratory recently even coined a term for it, ”Programmable reality” which means the growing ability for objects to assume digital attributes. This is expected to cater to a customer who expect everything around them to be as personalized and responsive as online is.
So what’s going on in this field then?
Well; Nike and Puma have both developed shoes that adjust the fit to the wearer’s preferences. Meanwhile Reebok has made the PureMove Bra which contains fluids that solidifies at higher velocity, basically offering better support when you pick up the pace during workouts.
Meanwhile Italian furniture company Natuzzi will install Holo Lens VR-sets it their stores offering the full product range to customers, and not just what fits the floor. Others use the virtual and augmented features to create experiences, like H&M did in October at the New York preview of the H&M Moschino collab, where visitors could see a handbag appearing to melt and gold accessories and undergarments appearing to float, all through the lens of Magic Leap One glasses.
And then there’s of course the digital clothing, which I have already adressed in recent posts, here and here. While this is far from mainstream yet of course, several brands have actually started to offer 3D renders of clothing on their sites to offer the customer a way to examine build and texture of the products online.
Eventually we will all have a ”digital twin” or ”data double” like Lil’ Miquela, the photo realistic avatar model, The Future Laboratory predicts.
Personally, i can’t wait.

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Nike launches AR try on-service

Finding the right size and fit for shoes you buy online is about to get a lot easier. Nike just launched an AR try-on function to their app that makes it possible for customers to ”try on” shoes before buying, The Current Daily reports. Customers can scan their feet with their phones and the app collects data about the shape, size and volume of the feet, matching the result to find the right shoe. According to Nike themselves it is supposed to have an accuracy within two millimeters. The service will be launched in the US in July and later this summer in Europe.

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Will Apple release its own AR headset?

Speaking of Augmented Reality powered glasses: Apple might be working on its own version of AR glasses, according to Tech Crunch. Referring to a ”reliable analyst on all things Apple”, Ming-Chi Kuo, Tech Crunch reports that Apple is working on an AR headset in the form of glasses that could go into production as early as the last quarter of 2019.
It is yet unclear what the glasses would do exactly, but it seems like they will function as a display for visual content. Tech Crunch takes a guess at mapping as a possible function, which sounds reasonable. This headset won’t likely be a standalone headset, but rely on the iphone for internet connection, location services and other functions.
Apple has yet to confirm anything though.

Augmented reality by audio: with ”Frames” Bose wants us to stop looking at screens

This week, Bose is rolling out their AR sunglasses for potential partners. And no, Frames, as they’re called, are not some new Google Glass-variety, where you add visual filters to your view. It’s more like a hybrid between headphones and glasses, or a portable smart speaker if you will. The temple of the glasses contain a microphone and a speaker which allows you to listen to music, take calls or speak on the phone while still being aware of external sounds. The glasses can also detect where you are and which direction you’re heading, and give directions. The idea is to combine the glasses with mobile apps for travel, exercise, games and so forth, but without having to use your hands or look at a screen.
This is not the first attempt to try to save us from our screens in later years. We have seen everything from bracelets and rings to smart glasses based on the same idea. But somehow it seems these attempts never really make it past the theoretical state. When it comes to the crunch, we still stick to our usual habits in practice.
Let’s see if this turns out differently.


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The new smart glasses from Bose. Frames, as they’re called, come in two models. The smaller, rounder Rondo and the larger Alto.
Photo credit: Bose

Fashion college partners up with mobile network company to develop future fashion

London creative arts university Central Saint Martins featured a mixed reality show powered by 5G last Saturday during London Fashion week (where one of the models were Lennon Gallagher, Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher’s eldest son). For its annual MA show, graduate Gerrit Jacob featured a show where some visitors were given mixed reality headsets to watch the models walking accompanied by animated illustrations, The Current Daily Reports.
The show is part of a bigger partnership between Central Saint Martins and mobile network Three. Part of it is a live and permanent 5G installation, and several upcoming events. But the idea is also to be part of innovating fashion. Three will therefore set up a 5G lab with IoT hardware and other connected technologies available to students at the university, aiming to encourage them to develop new projects using AR, MR, VR and cloud technology.
Big tech companies powering the innovations of future designers will probably become more common in the future, as tech and fashion intersect more and more. But let’s hope that the students still get to keep their creative freedom.

Stil & Teknik taking the stage at Breakit Beauty & Fashion Tech event

On April 4, it’s time for me to take the stage again! This time I have the honour of being one of two moderators at Swedish startup magazine Breakit’s event Beauty and Fashion Tech.  Along with Breakit’s business development manager Camilla Björkman I’ll be introducing an exciting line of speakers and panel members, including Dr Amanda Parkes of Future Tech Lab, Erik Lindvall of Streamateria and Erica Blomberg at Swedish Fashion Council. See the full program right here.
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Industry giants gather at Hong Kong retail conference

What will retail become in the future? Retail industry leaders such as H&M and Guess will gather on January 23rd to discuss this in Hong Kong, at this year’s edition of the Retail Cutting Edge conference. The conference will revolve around the four themes retail for the next decade, blockchain in retail, global change pain points and AR and VR. Within these themes they will explore for instance how blockchain can be used to prove product authenticity, how the demand for sustainability changes the way brands interact with customers and how AR and VR can make the transition from gimmicky to mainstream in the retail space. Read more at https://live.insideretail.hk/.
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