Say Goodbye to the Trial Room with Augmented Reality
Augmented reality has come a long way. My first experience with the technology was while playing Agent V on the Nokia 3230. It was kind of rudimentary but it got the imagination rolling for a lot of fellow enthusiasts regarding the future of the technology.
Augmented reality (AR) is a digital overlay onto the real world. It enhances the real world with digital data, and therefore it is much more interesting than a completely fabricated environment of virtual reality systems. It is an ideal Reality-Virtual connect.
AR presently is used in many different fields, from mobile games to areas of industrial maintenance. Its ease of integration across many mediums give it universal accessibility. One industry is presently experimenting a lot with AR is fashion.
It can help in literally every field of fashion, right from designing to marketing to retail sales. Some of the biggest names such as Hugo Boss, Burberry, Ebay’s with its “See It On” app have started inducting AR in their business model.
For example: The Hugo Boss store at Westfield Stratford City, features an 8-meter, media wall that allows customers to “dress” onscreen models who respond to consumers’ movements by looking at them, moving towards them and walking alongside them.
The coolest and the most advantageous aspect of AR is its flexibility of integration across a multitude of mediums like computers, mobiles, eyeglasses and even contact lenses with AR capabilities are in development. These will give the companies much more innovative ability to reach to the customers.
London fashion label Cassette Playa is making it more interesting with their T-shirts. When seen through a Webcam, an AR code on the T-shirt is activated to reveal, for example, horns growing from the wearer’s head.
The fact that when people see fashion they imagine it on themselves is what encourages the company’s to give a more physical feel. The race is on towards a virtual changing room and AR is the best way forward.
If you are a person who hates shopping and the frustrating multiple visits to the changing room this may be a boon. The only issue is that if you have fat thighs like me you won’t be able to do the usual squats to make sure you are not getting choked by your jeans.
Even Google is getting in the game with its Google Glass. The company recently hired fashion executive Ivy Ross to market the glass to the general public. Ross has worked with industry giants like Calvin Klein, Swatch, Gap, Coach, and more. Guess we can anticipate a fashion trial app on the Glass too.
There are of course some dissenting voices who say practical application will take some time and its still in a marketing gimmick phase. But these critics do agree that virtual trial rooms are the more economical way forward and if history teaches us anything it’s that economic decisions always win.
It would be a wonderful technology to keep our eyes on. Maybe the days of boyfriends and husbands desperately looking for seats while their ladies take their sweet time deciding on their perfect attire is close to being history, hopefully.