Zara goes AR in their window displays

Starting in April, clothing chain Zara will introduce AR in their window displays. The move is said to be a way of attracting millennials who tend to prefer online alternatives such as Amazon to physical stores, according to Reuters.
So how will this AR installation work exactly? Well, when holding a mobile phone to a sensor in the window (or inside the store), customers will be able to see models wearing different looks, and also click to buy what they want.
The AR displays will be introduced in 120 Zara stores all over the world, from April 18.


SXSW 2018: Bose launches ‘hear what you see’ AR sunglasses

Audio AR? Now, what on earth is that? Well, we all know about visual AR, where you put a layer of extra visual information to what you see in your surroundings. For instance a map with directions on top of the street view you have in front of you. Audio AR is instead a layer of sound information added to what you see around you. And this is exactly what headphone company Bose is doing with their prototype AR sunglasses they just presented at SXSW.
So how does it work then? Well, you put the glasses on and as soon as you see something you want to know more about, you just tap on the stem and you get the info right in your ear. The glasses know what you’re looking at without needing a camera. Instead they use on-board motion sensors that can detect the direction you’re facing. They are also programmed to recognize head gestures, such as nodding and turning. For instance, you can nod your head to take an incoming call or shake it to decline.
Designwise they actually look pretty good for a prototype, and according to reports they are very light and easy to wear. So that’s promising.
But of course it’s all about the data. So far Bose is working with TripAdvisor, Yelp, Asics Studio, Strava and TuneIn, and hopefully there’s more to come for this product to work the way it’s intended.
The glasses will be released in a first version this summer.
Photo: Bose

Amazon Alexa-powered glasses to debut at CES

Soon you’l be able to talk to Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant, in more places than in the e-commerce giant’s own device Echo. Now the company has taken yet another step towards becoming a serious part of digital every day life, by letting other companies use Alexa in their products.
One of them is a pair of smart glasses manufactured by the small company Vuzix Corp that’s going to be showcased at CES2018 in Las Vegas this week. The Vuzix Blade, as the glasses are called, can communicate with the voice activated digital assistant and also show information like for instance maps, directions, social media feeds or sport scores in the wearer’s view field, according to Business of Fashion. This is not the only third-party company that uses Alexas communication skills. In October, Sonos released a smart speaker with Alexa’s system for music playing.
Fashion-wise, they do have a long way to go though. Looking like your typical movie theatre 3D glasses, this is not the product that’s going to popularize the smart glasses, I am sorry to say. But I guess we’ll just keep on waiting.

Screenshots of The Vuzix Blade smart glasses, powered by Amazon’s Alexa voice activated digital assistant.

CES 2018: what to look out for in fashion tech

As you know, the new year is already upon us, but for us tech nerds the real new year’s celebrations are still a few days away: On Tuesday, January 9, the annual Consumer Electronics Show 2018 is kicking off and we’re all anticipating what’s next in the world of AI, VR, AR, robotics, wearable tech and all that. I for one, am going to keep an extra eye open for the Fashionware Show,  that will showcase high tech textiles, experimental fashion, VR and AR fashion experiences, AI Stylists and much, much more.
And of course there’s the Wearable Technology Summit, where experts from ELLE, Heisel, Fossil Group and Ashley Chloe is going to discuss how wearables are moving from geeky to fashion-forward. Still a much needed step if you ask me…
A host of other interesting brands and people are also making appearances, such as Dr Amanda Parkes from Fashion Tech Lab, speaking about textiles of the future and ELLE USA:s fashion tech editor Jenna Blaha, speaking about the wearable as a fashion statement. Stay tuned!


High-tech features at newly opened London store

Merging the benefits of online shopping with the benefits of the physical store is often described as a thing of the future. But here’s a very real example of today. Just a couple of days ago, a new tech infused Browns boutique opened up in London’s Shoreditch district. Like its sister store in London’s Mayfair, Browns East features design brands such as Balenciaga, Raf Simons and Gucci. But the most exciting thing is how Browns are now in the first stages of the Farfetched powered ”Store of the future” concept which will include for instance radio frequency stock tracking. If a customer can’t find an item in store, but finds it online, Browns East can deliver it to the store within 60 minutes. Via the Browns app, customers can tap to let the staff they’re in the store and want help, or opt out by clicking the ”do not disturb”-function. Need another size? Swipe the reflective screen on the smart mirror. When will we see something similar in Sweden? Yes, I’m looking at you @H&M.

Photo credit: Browns East



Blockchain technology helps make fashion processes more transparent

You probably know who designed the sweater you’re wearing. But do you know the farmer who contributed the wool, or the company who spun the yarn? Or the factory who knit the yarn into a fabric or the manufacturer who put the item together before it reached the store? Probably not.
Information like this is getting more and more important to provide the consumers, in an age of increasing interest in products produced in fair and sustainable ways. Now, the danish designer Martine Jarlgaard has teamed up with tech companies Provenance and A Transparent Company, and Fashion Innovation Agency to create a blockchain solution to make every part of the supply chain visible. The blockchain technology, that simply put is a chain of blocks each containing a transaction verified by a number of users, makes sure that every piece of information is correct. All the consumer has to do is use the Provenance app to scan a QR code in the product go get the information.
Martine Jarlgaard has proven before to be a friend of technology as a way to make fashion better. Last year she actually hosted the world’s first mixed reality fashion show. The audience, wearing clear Hololens mixed reality goggles, could experience the show that came to life as life size holograms and at the same time walk around and explore from all angles.


Next up: speaking at #FashionTech GBG today

Yes! Time for me to go west and speak about the wonderful world of Fashion Tech at #FashionTech Gbg! This event is special to me as it reaches out to young girls and women who might be entering the world of tech in the future. Hopefully I can offer some inspiration in the intersection between tech and fashion.