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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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/.
Imagine a shirt that gets passed on from mother to daughter to granddaughter over the course of 20 years. During this process, the garment changes print and colour and ultimately gets back to the brand for reusing in new ways the last decades of its life, first as a jacket lining, then as an accessory.
This thought experiment is part of the Circular Design Speed project conducted this year by Swedish clothing brand Filippa K, research body Mistra Future Fashion and University Of The Arts London (UAL).
“If you can make a garment last through the process of reinvention in reasonable, commercially available and viable ways, you replace the purchase of a new product. The lifecycle assessment of the service shirt against a standard polyester blouse showed significant climate change savings.”, project lead, prof. Becky Earley, Co-Director, CCD, says to FashNerd.
I think this kind of thinking is exactly the industry needs right now. What if we could reimagine the whole idea of what fashion is supposed to be? What if we could rethink the whole set of attitudes surrounding it, keeping the idea of fashion as something living and constantly changing, while still managing to apply this to considerably fewer items? Applying the concept of change to the item itself instead of constantly changing the item?
It’s an exciting idea.
Personally I’m very excited to see in what ways digital technologies could help enable this change. AI is already being used by some as a tool in the design process, maybe it could be of assistance in this context as well, reimagining the next phase in the item’s life cycle? Not to mention AR, with its ability to let us enhance reality.
There’s apparently a gap between what customers want from retailers, and what retailers plan to give them. At least according to a research report made by Swedish payment solution company Klarna, and based on research from 50 retail decision makers and 2 000 shoppers. The report shows that the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality solutions retailers want to invest in, would actually be rejected by 4 in 5 shoppers.
But does that mean retailers are completely wrong about investing in shopping related tech? Not necessarily.
We have to take into account the fact that a lot of these technologies are still in very early stages, as I have adressed here and here in the past couple of days. They are new to most consumers and not always that easy and smooth to use either. Tech like VR for instance, requires certain equipment that is still quite expensive. Of course a lot of consumers are going to reject anything that just seems tricky to use.
However, things change fast.
Expensive tech tends to get cheaper, hard to use solutions tend to get more user friendly over time.
So what do the consumers actually want then, according to this research? Well, most of them think online shopping is more convenient, but agree that brick and mortar stores offer a human touch that can’t be recreated online. About one fifth of them are positive to both VR and AR solutions such as smart mirrors/changing rooms and using VR headsets.
But on top of the shoppers list is simply to find the right fit. A task that is probably harder than ever for consumers with different brands having different sizing systems.
There’s a window of opportunity here: But it needs to be in a way that shoppers find accessible.