Toronto event on future retail: when will Sweden follow?

I know, I tend to go on quite a lot about the future of retail these days, but hey, a lot is happening in that area right now. And too little here in Sweden I might add. On May 2nd, the city of Toronto and number of fashion oriented organizations and businesses, are holding a joint event in Toronto about the future of retail. And they are right to do it, because the boundaries between our digital and physical lives are blurring and that goes for retail as well with stores becoming more digitally friendly, for instance in how Augmented Reality is moving into dressing rooms. The Toronto event is just the kind of thing I would like to see happening in Sweden right now. But the problem is I just can’t hear anyone even talking about this right now. Why is that? I think it’s about time to start this conversation.

Photo: Rebecca Minkoff smart dressing room.

 

Stil & Teknik in Fashion Tech talk tonight

Springtime in Stockholm and I’m really looking forward to tonight’s panel discussion at Stockholm PR Agency Text100! There I will be joining a host of other fashion tech people to talk about what is happening in this field at the moment and what might be in store for the future. Stay tuned!

AR takes online shopping to the next level

An Augmented Reality app might soon bring us one step closer to online shopping that doesn’t result in as many returns. The app, which is a collaboration between GAP, Google and Avametrics and will launch later this month, is simple: You just choose one of five different body types, then fill in your measurements like bust, weight and height. Based on that information the app creates an avatar that you can use to try on different items. This way you can compare easily between sizes and see the way the fabrics drapes and stretches.
Of course you can also twist the avatar around, so you can see what it looks like in the back and from the sides as well. Judging by the demonstration video it dosen’t take into consideration variations in how narrow shoulders you have, or the actual length of your legs or arms, which of course aren’t the same in every individual of the same height and weight. But still, it offers a much greater possibility to avoid sartorial disappointments. Curious? See for yourself in this demo video.
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Fashion tech isn’t what it used to – and maybe that’s good

So, CES 2017 just concluded a couple of days ago. And as exciting as the whole thing was, the reports on fashion tech related stuff has left me somewhat… blah. Apart from a few new models of smart glasses with AR features that I will get back to in another post, there seemed to be a lot of stuff we’ve seen many times before: like the occasional shoe that can change colors with the click of a button on your smart phone, LED-dresses, 3D-printed dresses, designer fitness trackers and so forth. Not that these gadgets are bad or anything. It’s just that when it comes to innovation and new products within the fashion tech area, I would have hoped for something more unexpected.
It’s like the industry has come to a halt when it comes to creativity and/or have failed to connect the the dots between the tech- and fashion industries.
Or is something else going on? I think so.
I have good reason to believe that the most exciting things are actually happening somewhere else right now. I think the focus within fashion tech has simply shifted from gadgets to services, for instance retail and payment, and also sizing, customization and individualization. And let’s not forget to mention the intriguing world of material development, where biotech companies are attempting to create leather out of mushrooms and silk out of spider web to mention a few.
In all of those areas there are actual, rather than constructed problems to solve.
And that’s exciting for real.
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Beauty and function in one item, be it clothing or jewelry, is great. But the focus might be shifting from gadgets to services in the industry. 
Photo credit: Screenshots from Electric Runway Youtube channel and CES Fashion Ware show.