Augmented Reality is moving into the fashionable mainstream, with major brands like Snapchat, Facebook and Google embracing it to further engagement on their platforms.

And with Apple’s latest announcement on its new ARKit, make no mistake, digital realities are most definitely here to stay.

While engagement was once limited to the pages of glossy magazines and the confines of the front row, the fashion industry has realised there’s a new way to talk audiences beyond the catwalk: technology.

What is fash-tech?

Far more than just wearables and clever clothing, like t-shirts that change colour when exposed to too much pollution (anyone remember those Hypercolour t-shirts from the 90s?!), this year’s biggest brands have started to realise the potential of AR, MR and VR to bring fashion to life.

This kind of fash-tech is aimed at consumers and the ‘Insta-generation’ with the aim of appealing to the masses.

2010 saw London lead the way with the first live stream of a catwalk.

2017’s catwalk shows in New York, Paris and London have all advanced somewhat, with digital realities playing a role centre stage when it comes to enhancing consumer experiences.

AI and Fash-Tech

This year, a string of nifty technologies have assisted some of the top brands.

In New York, Intel teamed up with Voke’s GearVR app to offer the first-ever full stereoscopic virtual reality live stream experience for a number of the shows.

Zeekit offered the ultimate try-before-you-buy experience with designer Rebecca Minkoff. The ‘virtual changing room’ allows users to upload a photo of themselves to then virtually try on the collection.

Over in Paris, Kate Spade New York last week marked the opening of its new flagship store with an augmented reality experience designed by one of our clients, UK start-up, Zappar.

Turning the fashion capital into an interactive playground, consumers can view pink flamingos frolicking in the Seine and a New York City yellow cab bustling down a Parisian street all on their mobile device.

***

Brands need to get on board and look for innovative ways to engage and capture the imagination of consumers. To stay ahead of the curve, it’s essential to embrace this customer-first technology … who knows what will come next!

Image: Nan Palmero

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