In around 2010, augmented reality began to be widely talked about as a technology that would revolutionize the future of fashion through its impact on the way consumers shop. People even said that there would not be a single store without a virtual fitting room that would allow customers to try on a garment and see how it fit without having to actually put it on. You only need to take a stroll around the most popular stores to realize that this prediction has not materialized. Of course, many stores now have large screens with which you can interact, but they only display things like the catalog and the remaining stock in the store.
Although this prediction has not been accomplished as expected, there have been applications developed in the fashion world for this technology that combines real-world images with computer-generated ones, using a camera and an app. Indeed, this concept of virtual fitting rooms has been transferred to the domestic environment with relative success. There are already a multitude of online stores that allow you to “try on” a T-shirt, pants or dress from home before adding it to your shopping cart. In fact, out of all the options, surprisingly, one of the sectors that is benefiting the most from it is the footwear market. There are now websites such as Hockerty that, in addition to allowing you to create your own customized sneakers, enable you to see how they fit before you decide whether to buy them.
Creating custom sneakers
The practical application of this technology is remarkably simple. In this case, the first thing you have to do is go to the brand’s website and design your sneakers, choosing from seven different models, as well as numerous materials (all of them of the highest quality), colors, and you can even select the color of the laces. And although it is possible to view the result on the screen with a 360-degree perspective by simply moving the mouse around, to really see how they would look, just click on the “virtual test” icon to generate a QR code on the screen in a few seconds, which you then scan with your cellphone. Without having to install an application, this device will immediately open a website that, with prior permission to access the camera, detects where your feet are and superimposes the 3D representation of the previously selected shoes. You can walk and position your foot sideways, while it shows how they appear on your feet at any given moment.
That said, there is one aspect that could be improved: it’s still not possible to check if the size is correct. This would be a good idea, especially considering that it is an online purchase and a customized product, with everything that implies. In this case, you only have the table of measurements to guide you. In our experience, the size corresponds to the one usually used. When the product arrives at your home in a few days, it is exactly as you had created it.
But this is not the only example of how augmented reality has been applied to online shopping. One of the pioneers in this field is luxury brand Gucci, which allows you to try on practically all its products — sneakers, glasses, mascara, lipsticks and hats — via its app. Other brands also have similar features on apps, such as Wanna Kicks (which sells Adidas and Nike shoes, as well as clothing, bags and watches), Artistry (for makeup) and InkHunter (to test how tattoos would look on different parts of the body). And beyond fashion, IKEA has joined this trend with an app (IKEA Place) that helps you see how furniture will look in your home, taking into account the actual scale.
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