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.

Annonser

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.

Nike-Fit-Scan-site

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.


bose-frames-3-1024x782

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

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/.
Skärmavbild 2019-01-09 kl. 14.23.16.png

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.