New Tech on the Block #1
What's new and what's useful?
It's an incredibly exciting time to be in a customer-focused industry, especially fashion. The potential for experiences to be both digital and real is mind-blowing!
Then there's the pressure to understand and implement new tech, which is at an all time high with a hard push coming from millennials. The expectation their favourite brands are on it.
Always keep in mind that saying yes to new tech comes with many other considerations. Some include:
-Capability of existing systems to integrate smoothly
-Network and performance, can new tech be supported?
-Efficient data capture, who's reviewing data and is it being analysed appropriately?
-Listen to customer feedback; test, learn, iterate, improve. Your customers are why your business exists.
Here's a couple of innovative technologies making tsunami-size waves in fashion, adding to the customer experience.
Virtual Reality (VR) is still very much in experimentation phase. Try, measure, analyse data, and ultimately see if innovators and early adopters are interested enough to accept and influence into mainstream. Samsung are very eager to help build a practical bridge between tech and fashion. One way being trialled at the moment is by creating 360 degree experiences for fashion parades, so anyone from anywhere can see the show and to some extent, get up close and not-so-personal with the collection. Another example is Dior's SS16 Ready to Wear Show in 360 featured on Dazed here.
In any case, the success or failure of this taking off right now will be a result of how well the user experience (UX) is with VR software, the level of detail through photography in constructing the environment, features, garments, people and, if people actually want to see a show in this format.
Augmented Reality (AR), think Pokémon Go. Where you see people walking around cities holding up their phones trying to capture strange creatures, which are an overlay in the built environment. The same technology is being applied to fashion during shows and in-store experiences. At a recent event during Fashion Week, one designer worked with a creative studio to create an AR experience to captivate the audience (read about it here).
By holding up their device to the front and focusing on two large banners either side of the stage, very simply triggered the activation. The added digital layer people encountered, showcased information about the models and clothes. Details you wouldn't otherwise read about until after or maybe ever.
Check out some examples on HighSnobiety of how brands are implementing mixed reality successfully.
We're here to help
IFAB can give you a hand in mapping out digital solutions that are best suited to your audience. It's not necessarily one size fits all, but a more customised and thoughtful approach is what will make the biggest impact.
Written by Saskia Fairfull, Founding Member