virtual reality

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - R29
Image source: R29

Using New York Fashion Week to push an agenda based on marrying culture, content and commerce, US lifestyle e-tailer Refinery 29 created a two-day wonderland of immersive installations in Brooklyn last week (September 11-12).

Dubbed 29 Rooms, the multisensory showcase consisted of 29 overtly Instagram-worthy rooms housed in a 50,000 sq ft waterfront warehouse. The site-specific art installations, virtual reality experiences, live performances and film screenings were the result of partnerships with artists, designers, brands and charity groups.

US chain Nordstrom Rack presented Fierce in Fiction – a door-mounted peep show featuring the surreal worlds of literary heroines Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. Meanwhile, US accessories brand Fossil’s Calling All Curious explored the world of makers through a series of large, curiosity-inspiring keyholes that posed questions such as “Do you colour inside the lines?” alongside an invitation to fill in the drawing behind the door.

A handful of rooms aimed to “give women a voice to express themselves, to feel good in their own skin”, tackling topics from body positivity to politics. US women’s activewear retailer SIX:02 and German sportswear giant Puma’s industrial-looking room encouraged visitors to pledge to accomplish a new goal, recorded in text using stop-frame animation, and then projected into the room. The Vote Your Values room, meanwhile, featured mock voting booths where participants recorded short messages for the future US president about issues that were important to them.

Guest post Stylus.com by Katie Baron

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - The Line
Image source: SMG

A new project for New York-based lifestyle retailer The Line is taking virtual reality (VR) from the realm of immersive marketing into engagement with the potential for direct monetisation.

Displayed via a pop-up at advertising festival Cannes Lions in June, the concept, devised by multinational brand experience agency Sapient Nitro, allowed attendees to virtually tour and shop ‘The Apartment’ – a residential-style furniture store.

Visitors were able to explore the store remotely which, according to the brand, was designed to combine the ease of e-commerce with the thrill of real-life shopping. Using Samsung Gear headsets, 360-degree motion-tracking video technology allowed users to virtually roam the apartment. They could access information about each product simply by focusing their vision on diamond shapes overlaid above them – placing items into a virtual shopping basket with a tap on the side of their headset. Once they finished exploring, all of their choices appeared in a basket, taking them through to the checkout.

Such immersive contextual shopping experiences will continue to boom in value. According to Digi Capital, a US digital advisory agency specialising in augmented and virtual reality, VR is predicted to grow from $4bn in 2015 to a market value of $30bn by 2020.

Guest post Stylus.com by Katie Baron

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“Rebecca Minkoff, one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Fashion this year, has just introduced virtual reality (VR) headsets into its product line, along with clothes, bags, and accessories. The headset requires some assembly—it’s a fashion-friendly spin on Google’s VR platform, Cardboard—but allows consumers to pop their iOS or Android phones into the box and watch a stream of VR content.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Rebecca Minkoff x Virtual reality
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“You and American pop artist Ron English may not have a lot in common, except that you both wear Chucks. Converse, the American shoe brand and creator of the iconic Chuck Taylors, thinks that your shared shoe-wearing habits are a pretty strong connection. In an effort to create an inclusive community around its products, Converse has created a virtual reality experience that shares the everyday surroundings—and footwear—of notable Chuck Taylor wearers.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Converse

NIKE ID

US sports giant Nike has been awarded a patent on a design system potentially involving augmented reality – technology that overlays digital imagery onto the real world. The system would immerse users in computer-simulated environments, allowing them to customise trainers.

Nike has been empowering shoppers to customise purchases with its in-store/online initiative NikeID since 2005, giving them the ability to pick from a selection of models, fabric colours and personalised monogramming – but the experience so far has been confined to flat representations on-screen. This patent could see users customising products in-store as if in 3D, using head-mounted devices such as the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift – a wearable virtual reality (VR) helmet that transports users to other, virtual environments.

As VR, holographic and projection-mapping technologies become increasingly refined, the concept of adding malleable digital overlays onto physical objects may prove a powerful way to engage those who want the thrill of customisation, with the extra reassurance of seeing a virtual approximation pre-purchase.

Other brands already indulging in VR technology include UK department store John Lewis, which has been trialling a virtual sofa simulator that displays a customer’s choice of colour, shape and fabric in 3D in-store. Read more in John Lewis: Virtual Sofa Simulator. Meanwhile, German automaker Audi is launching a new VR experience in selected dealerships that will allow consumers to browse and customise details while experiencing the sensation of sitting inside one of the vehicles. See our full blog post for further information.

Guest post Stylus.com by Saeed Al-Rubeyi, EditorKatie Baron, Head of Retail

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“Want to get inside Fashion Week, but don’t have the right connections? Soon you will be able to have easy access to a Rebecca Minkoff runway show. Well, if you have a virtual reality headset.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Fashion Week
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“Virtual reality is hot again. After decades of failed products and unfulfilled promise, a groundbreaking device called the Oculus Rift has people truly excited about immersing themselves in a computer-generated world. There’s only one problem: The Rift is still a prototype, and even backing from Facebook won’t put a consumer-friendly version in stores anytime soon. That’s where The Virtual Reality Beginner’s Guide comes in. Published this week by Regan Arts, it’s a short booklet bundled with all the parts you need to build a low-end VR headset powered by your phone.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - DIY Virtual Reality
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“The first thing about the Oculus Crescent Bay, the newest virtual reality headset prototype announced at Oculus Connect on Saturday, is that it takes a room to simulate. You aren’t stuffed into an office chair — even though the Oculus team loves repeating, for liability reasons, that the Rift is a sitting experience. Instead, I stood on a square pad in the middle of an 8-by-8 room. I stared at a camera while the headset was lowered over my eyes.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Oculus Crescent Bay
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“Being strapped in to a headset means losing awareness about the world around you, which is especially tricky if you need to, say, reach for you keyboard. This is one of the problems the Vrvana Totem headset aims to solve. The headset features two forward-facing cameras that can be passed through to the display, meaning you can see the world around you as needed.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Vrvana Totem
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“Samsung is venturing boldly into the world of virtual reality, but not without one of its trusty smartphones strapped along for the ride. The company today introduced the Samsung Gear VR, a headset that plugs into the Galaxy Note 4 to create a virtual reality experience not unlike that of the Oculus Rift.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Samsung Gear VR