Swedish online store Chiquelle launches AR try-on app

An AR app for digital try-ons with the ultimate goal to lower return rates – that’s the plan for Swedish online store Chiquelle. Just in time for buyer fest Black Friday, the company will launch an app where the customers can try on clothes digitally, using an avatar.
High return rates are a big problem in the fashion industry today. Customers usually get free returns in order to make their purchase as smooth as possible. But it’s expensive. For the companies, and most of all – for the environment.
Attempting to solve this problem is therefore a great initiative, and something that all of fashion must give some serious thought. So what about the app then? Well, you just choose body type, size on upper and lower body and skin colour, and then take a selfie to complete the avatar. After that, you get to choose two items from the beta version mini collection and try it on in the environment you’re in.
According to Swedish magazine DI Digital who tested the beta version, there’s still a lot of work to do before the app works properly. But if the glitches can be fixed, I celebrate the idea of virtual try-on and look forward to it as a function in the future.


Consumers: give us AR tools for online shopping!

Are consumers warming up to the idea of virtually enhancing their online shopping? So it seems, according to a new report from e-commerce agency PushOn, The Current Daily reports.
According to the study, 45 percent of consumers would spend more money online if they had access to technology to help them visualize what they’re buying, while more than half (52 %) think that retailers should invest in technology for creating a seamless link between in-store and online shopping.
40 percent of the surveyed shoppers, would also specifically like to use some kind of Augmented Reality solution to try out what they’re buying beforehand.
Zara, Ikea, Google and Apple have all begun to invest in these technologies, and it seems it was right on time.

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.

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



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.


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.

En utmaning för modetechbranschen: storlekar

Det blir lätt mycket fokus på uppkopplade plagg med häftiga funktioner när man pratar modetech. Men en av de viktigaste utmaningarna för modetechbranschen framöver kommer nog att bli något betydligt mer vardagligt: att komma till rätta med storleksproblematiken.
Att hitta kläder som passar perfekt är alltid en utmaning, även om man handlar i en fysisk butik. Men handlar man online får man i regel ägna sig åt rena chansningar. Informationen att modellen på bilden ”bär storlek 36 och är 179 cm lång” är ett ganska trubbigt verktyg att använda för att avgöra om plagget passar när man själv drar en mindre storlek och är en bra bit kortare. Framför allt känns det väldigt omodernt och opraktiskt i dessa teknologiskt avancerade tider.
Nu är det inte så att det inte händer grejer inom det här området redan.
Vi har ju redan sett hur svenska Volumental angriper ämnet genom att 3D-scanna av fötter och ansikten för att kunna erbjuda individuellt anpassade skor och glasögon. Studio Heijne erbjuder en onlinetjänst för customiserade och skräddarsydda klänningar. När det gäller konfektion finns tjänster som försöker komma till rätta med problemet att storlek small hos ett märke kanske mer motsvarar medium hos ett annat, och som lär sig vilka märken kunden gillar och vilken storlek man bör beställa av respektive märke. Att kunna prova plagg virtuellt innan man slår till, är ju också ett sätt som många experimenterar med. Nyligen lanserades till exempel Scarfi, en app där man virtuellt kan prova Emma J Shipleys vackra scarves.
Men frågan är vad som blir framtidens lösning? Huvudfokus är att det måste det vara lätt för kunden, både vad det gäller tillgänglighet och utförande. Och framför allt vill man ha ett verktyg som fungerar överallt, hos alla märken och plattformar. Är det ens möjligt? Jag hoppas det, för jag är ordentligt trött på att förhålla mig till en standardmodell som inte liknar mig över huvud taget.
Foto: Other Stories och Stil & Teknik