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Simon Mall’s Launchpad concept introduces cutting edge tech to the masses

Simon introduces tech to its consumers
Simon introduces tech to its consumers

Simon, the US’s largest retail landlord, has launched an evolving retail platform that introduce new technologies by established and emerging brands to its consumers across the country.

Called Launchpad by Simon, the concept rolled out during Black Friday across six mall locations in the US, including at Lenox Square in Atlanta and King of Prussia in Philadelphia. Each location features two immersive experiences that welcome customers to experiment with new technologies such as mixed reality and robots and learn the latest trends in the space.

The first activation, called the “720 Degree Experience”, deploys virtual reality using a 720 degree camera which will create HD images and video to either view on a headset or post on social media.

Meanwhile “Youth Tech” incorporates three separate experiences: a robotic dog that responds to verbal commands, a smartphone-enabled gaming console and AR cards that bring animals to life in 4D.

To source the products on display, the property group travelled the world and visited major consumer tech and lifestyle shows such as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), ASD Show, Canton Fair and Hong Kong Gift and Toy Show.

"Launchpad by Simon"
“Launchpad by Simon”

“By working directly with key wholesalers, we have immediate access to new products and concepts,” said Joseph Gerardi, VP of specialty leasing at Simon Properties, explaining that customer feedback is key to understanding demand for new tech products. “Items that sell extremely well will quickly migrate to another location outside of ‘Launchpad.’ If the product does not sell to a satisfactory level during the trial period, we will immediately return it and test the next product on our list.”

Malls are increasingly upping their efforts to provide new, interactive moments at their properties that tap into the consumer need for more experience, and less purchase. Earlier this year, Westfield’s Century City location in Los Angeles launched a theatrical VR experience called “Alien Zoo”, which invited customers to enter an imaginary, virtual world.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick Retail technology

Exploring Google’s experiential London pop-up: the Curiosity Rooms

Google's The Curiosity Rooms
Google’s Curiosity Rooms

Google has opened a month-long pop-up on London’s Regent Street, called the Curiosity Rooms, which offers a balance between connected moments and digital detoxing over a cup of tea.

The space is dedicated to encouraging visitor curiosity, a theme the tech company has embraced with the launch of its new Google Pixel 3 phone.

The result is a plethora of workshops, talks and experiences that have welcomed crowds of people since it opened last week, with most of the events planned sold out for the month.

The biggest lines when I visited focused around the “All-In Auto Wash” room – where groups can take selfies with the new Pixel phone, framed by pink carwash wipers – and the invite-only activation in the basement with pop band, Little Mix.

In between the mania, however, is a little haven of quiet in the form of The Pixedilly Café, a pink and blue 60s designed space. Here, guests are invited to experience one of the new features of the Pixel 3 phone, which invites a more mindful approach to digital communications.

The simple idea is that when you turn the phone over, all notifications, messages, calls and any other digital noise is turned off. Only when you are ready to get back to the real world, can you see all missed communications, simply by turning it back over.

To celebrate this sense of digital freedom, Google wants you to relax and enjoy in the most English-way possible – with a cup of tea. You don’t just get any old tea selection though, but instead the perfect one for you, based on a tasting menu that asks you four questions, all connected to how you would spend your perfect (digital) day-off.

The tongue-in-cheek asks include what type of weather you are, “warm and sunny” or “dark-and-stormy”, in order to concoct your custom brew. I ended up with the “Perfect Wind Down Cuppa”, a hot and spicy fruit tea mix.

Google's Curiosity Rooms
Google’s Curiosity Rooms

The pop-up space is otherwise spread over three floors in total with a multitude of further areas dedicated to different experiences.

There’s also the Google Maker’s Studio, which sees space rented by local London vendors, including flower-delivery company called Patch, and a small designer hosting workshops every week to teach children how to make clothes. There‘s also another space for creative talks, a coffee bar and a children’s play area with a giant “Not Pink” slide that allows those of all ages to travel down to the ground-floor again.

Meanwhile, the changing roster of events, with different talks, workshops and live podcast recordings, all tie in with the themes of health, mindfulness and millennial mind-sets.

A notable kick-off to the store space saw writer and activist Scarlett Curtis recording a live version of her Feminists Don’t Wear Pink podcast. Visitors have also been privy to a one-of-a-kind dining experience with food writer Grace Dent; a talk by entrepreneurial creative Sharmadean Reid, the co-founder of WAH nails and founder of beauty platform Beautystack, on how to use everyday technology to reach your goals; and further live podcast recordings with Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes and their weekly The High Low show.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick Retail technology

Mulberry launches interactive retail experience for the holiday season

The #MulberryLights installation
The #MulberryLights installation

British luxury brand Mulberry has teamed up with innovation consultancy, Current Global, to create an interactive retail installation that will travel around the UK for the festive period.

The initiative, which is tied to the brand’s #MulberryLights campaign, celebrates how light, colour, shapes and people come together to create a modern British Christmas.

It is anchored by a smart vending machine that will appear in stores in London, Leeds, Manchester and Edinburgh, designed to reward participation, amplify social engagement and capture data. The experience invites users to share their lights-inspired images with the hashtag #MulberryLights, to gain instant access to the prizes stored.

The machine works by verifying that the social media share has taken place on either Instagram or Twitter. It then invites users to interact in a bespoke gaming experience through its digital portal, before rewarding them for taking part. Each day, one lucky player will win the top prize of a £1,000 gift card. Other prizes include small leather goods, stickers and festive chocolate. Every user can also enter the chance to win a further £5,000 to spend on gifts at Mulberry.

The #MulberryLights smart vending machine
The #MulberryLights smart vending machine

The experience was produced by Current Global, an innovation consultancy transforming how fashion and luxury brands intersect with technology.

Liz Bacelar, CEO of Current Global, said: “Mulberry came to us seeking a creative and interactive experience that would help drive store footfall during the holiday period. Smart vending machines are currently having a moment in retail; creating incredible engagement with fans as well as relevancy in a noisy and overly saturated market. With a portfolio of thousands of startups and top technologies from around the globe, Current Global was able to quickly identify the ideal partner to co-create the #MulberryLights concept. This is another example of how open innovation – collaboration with external partners – is the most effective route to real innovation.”

The installation will be in Mulberry’s Regent Street flagship from November 15-18. It kicks off with an immersive pop-up light experience, alongside drinks and live music while the Regent Street lights are turned on. It then travels to Leeds November 22-25, Manchester November 26-28, and Edinburgh November 29 – December 2. A second machine will also appear in New York in December.

Further stickers, fly posters and projections from Mulberry will be dotted around London, Manchester and Edinburgh, encouraging consumers to take photos and tag them on social media with the hashtag.

How are you thinking about retail innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick Retail

From simulators to bouncy rooms: 3 NYC pop-ups innovating the customer experience

THE ARRIVALS pop-up

In an ever competitive landscape both online and offline, retailers are upping their game to attract customers to their stores by creating more immersive and interactive experiences.

The success of initiatives including the Museum of Ice Cream and Refinery29’s 29Rooms, has resulted in brands understanding the power of experiential campaigns for engaging digital and social natives.

New York has become a hub for many such activations, and we’ve seen endless examples over the summer and fashion week season: everything from a seven-room “experience” at Winky Lux, to an interactive market that Calvin Klein created in partnership with Amazon Fashion.

More experiential stores are popping up this fall. We toured three that recently opened in Soho to check out how they’re upgrading the customer experience in a bid to compete for foot traffic and ultimately drive sales.

Cartier Parfums Pop-Up
Cartier Parfums pop-up

From workshops to an art installation, the first-ever Cartier Parfums pop-up offers lots of activities to entice customers to step inside. This is part of the brand’s strategy to celebrate the launch of their new perfume: Carat, which is inspired by diamonds.

Upon walking in, shoppers are met with a colorful wall of mantras written on postcards, inscribed with phrases like “Reveal all the carats that shine through you” and “To live it all, you have to scent it all”. Visitors can send them to anywhere in the world for free. The store also has several of the brand’s iconic red jewelry boxes, which emit the scent of the perfumes when opened, offering an “olfactory journey”.

Flower workshops, hair styling, and even scented meditations are some of the experiences curated at the store – and they are free of charge. Taking place from Friday evenings to Sunday mornings, the activities need an RSVP.

The icing on the cake, however, is a multi-sensory light installation called Mille Facettes. Store-goers step into something that looks like the inside of a baguette-shaped diamond, in which a white light is diffused into a million facets of colors, plunging the visitor into the creative mind of the perfumer. The 90-seconds experience is also a beautiful background for an Instagram photo. In addition to that, visitors get a shareable image and a video over email.

Moncler’s House of Genius
Moncler’s House of Genius concept store

Moncler’s new concept store looks like a modern art museum. It’s part of the brand’s Genius project, in which eight designers were invited to redesign Moncler’s signature down jacket. Selling genius collections exclusively, the store has eight spaces that each designer transformed into their own. All the rooms are numbered and unique, prompting curious shoppers to walk through them to see the different interactive designs.

Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli, one of the chosen designers, created a capsule collection for Moncler combining haute couture and skiwear. He took his inspiration from the renaissance period, so his space in the store displays mannequins similar to the ones seen in the Costume Institute exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Meanwhile, there is a space dedicated to the Grenoble collection, which is designed to be like the top of a ski slope, with angled mannequins that look ready to ski. There’s also Moncler’s “Yellow” collection, which is full of cult items like dog jackets – in the store they adorn statues of French bulldogs right at the entrance. Even though a typical Moncler jacket costs at least $1000, it’s easy to overlook this detail when a dog is welcoming you.

THE ARRIVALS Pop-Up
THE ARRIVALS pop-up

With the Holiday season in mind, NYC-based, digitally-native outerwear brand, THE ARRIVALS, has opened a pop-up in partnership with Dyson Supersonic. The concept is based on the intersection of where high-tech design and innovation meet functionality.

Earthy tone clothes are displayed against cushioned walls in soft millennial pink. Highly Instagramable, the space even has a wind-tunnel-meets-bounce-house, in which customers can jump while being blasted with the force of 36 high-powered DYSON fans. This is a great feature for a Boomerang-effect video.

The pop-up offers THE ARRIVALS collection Release 5.O and 5.1, in addition to limited edition items that are only available at the brick-and-mortar location. The pop-up also offers a selection of partner brands, including: Fates jewelry, BLYSZAK eyewear, Von Holzhausen handbags, and Sennheiser headphones.

After visiting all of the stores, one thing was certain: selfies aren’t going anywhere. Customers were willing to take their heels off to take pictures on the bouncy house, walked into Cartier asking for the sensorial room and Instagrammed everything in Moncler’s new store. Retailers that use unexpected physical experiences to generate buzz end up generating a ton of online traffic. As their customers would tell you: “Pics or it didn’t happen.”

How are you thinking about retail innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick technology

5 tech innovations we’re talking about from fashion week season

Balenciaga SS19

The latest fashion week season was marked by conversations on inclusivity, from celebrating diverse models at Ralph Lauren and Savage x Fenty, to industry experts openly criticizing the new era of Celine by Hedi Slimane for having 91% white models.

On top of that was a continued question mark around the validity of the see-now-buy-now business model, the ongoing impact of streetwear on the catwalk, and endless pop-up installations celebrating all things fashion.

And yet underlying this activity, though it may not have been obvious on the surface, was a tech-led narrative, with projections, hackers and immersive experiences all demonstrative of how fashion continues to push forward in the space.

Check out our round-up of the catwalk innovations to know…

LED Sculptures
Ralph Lauren’s 50th anniversary installation

Ralph Lauren celebrated the 50th-anniversary of his brand with a digitally-driven immersion. So-called LED sculptures, otherwise known as large scale digital displays, appeared under Central Park trees showcasing cuts from the designer’s most memorable collection reels. Campaign archive imagery as then projected across the walls of two T-shaped chambers that told the brand’s story through Lauren’s narration himself. The installation is now at the flagship store in NYC. An app launch was also part of the celebration: in addition to shopping, the platform gives consumers insider access and exclusive content.

Female Hackers
CyFi for Nicholas Kirkwood SS19

At London Fashion Week, footwear designer Nicholas Kirkwood’s show saw teenage hacker CyFi walk the runway alongside actress and #MeToo activist, Rose McGowan. Set in an underground bunker, with flashing monitors and LED lights, their appearance was tied to an underlying political message from Kirkwood against conformity. His latest shoe collection was inspired by tech and cyber-reality, with details including graphic TV static–style print and constructions that looked like tangled computer wiring. The show also featured a hologram technology that showed the collection’s main shoe, a boot with neon yellow detail, in 3D by UK company Hologrm.

Robotic Debut
House of Honee featuring OhmniLabs robot

A robot debuted on the catwalk of London Fashion Week adorned in head to toe crystals. Part of the show of LA-based designer Honee, the telepresence machine was created in partnership with Silicon Valley-based OhmniLabs. Honee said the show “celebrates the human spirit via the robots”. Her vision was to marry fashion, culture and technology through the experience.

Massive Projections
Miu Miu using projectors for SS19

At Paris Fashion Week, Maison Margiela surprised guests with 12 enormous projections alongside the catwalk at the launch of its new fragrance, My Mutiny, the first to be released under John Galliano. The film showed a behind-the-scenes look at the campaign. Miu Miu also decided to use projections, with models’ faces featuring bold lips and vivid red streaked across their eyelids, placed onto bubble letters spelling out the brand’s logo. It was a way to complement the theme of the collection: “Deconstructing beauty”.

360-Degree Kaleidoscope
Balenciaga’s 360-Degree Kaleidoscope

If there was one show that stole the tech limelight this season however, it was Balenciaga. Taking immersion to the next level, the set saw a 360-degree kaleidoscopic tunnel designed to replicate the inner workings of a computer. Projectors cast multicolored lights onto the walls of the auditorium, which changed color and speed depending on both the model walking and the track playing. With set design by Jon Rafman, the idea was to draw influence from and attention to modern technology and digital media. The most controversial part of the show was actually on the clothes: Powerpoint Clip Art effects and Comic Sans adorned some of the prints. After turning ugly daddy sneakers into the hypest pair of shoes, Balenciaga is the right brand to end the ban of Comic Sans.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Campaigns Editor's pick technology

Ralph Lauren celebrates 50 years with immersive installation and epic NYFW bash

Ralph Lauren and Oprah Winfrey
Ralph Lauren and Oprah Winfrey

Ralph Lauren celebrated its 50th anniversary at New York Fashion Week on Friday night, with a star-studded affair that kicked off with an immersive installation.

Held at the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain in Central Park, guests were welcomed into the venue with a journey through the brand’s history. Enormous LED screens towering like sculptures played some of the designer’s most memorable collections, while iconic campaign imagery was next projected across the walls of a tunnel. Ralph Lauren himself narrated the tale.

The show that followed saw a diverse cast of over 150 models, followed by a dinner, with guests including Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and Kanye West. It was more than just a fashion week show, and rather a slice of Hollywood entertainment.

The company called it “a multi-brand, multi-generational celebration of the World of Ralph Lauren and the next chapter of iconic American style”.

Chief marketing officer Jonathan Bottomley added that it was all about storytelling and the power of a story. He accordingly built the event out online too, with a strategy that spanned IGTV, WeChat, Line and live streaming, as well as via 125 digital influencers and celebrities.

That move was aiming to build on the success of last September’s show in the designer’s classic car garage, which saw over 1 billion social media impressions.

Ralph Lauren's 50th anniversary installation
Ralph Lauren’s 50th anniversary installation

For those who weren’t there in person, the digital strategy now extends in person, with the installation otherwise appearing at the brand’s Madison Avenue flagship in New York, and in additional locations worldwide in the coming weeks.

Building on the brand’s see-now-buy-now strategy, a selection of the 50th-anniversary collection has also been made available to buy immediately following the show, both online and at the brand’s flagship stores, as well as via key partners including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

In a continuing use of technology, Ralph Lauren was also awarded Design Legend of the year award by GQ magazine last week in London, for which he beamed in via hologram.

Such a move is classic from the brand. Though it has been quieter in recent times, for many years it led the way with innovative uses of technology, especially around fashion week. It has previously showcased its Polo Ralph Lauren collection via holographic water projections for instance, and used architectural mapping to bring a variety of its stores to life in an experiential way. There’s also been everything from connected fitting rooms to wearables.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick Retail

Maybelline unveils branded concept space at NYC’s Color Factory

Color Factory in NYC
Color Factory in NYC

Maybelline is launching an immersive experience at NYC’s Color Factory that will invite fans to play and share. The space will feature a dance floor, bar, photo booth and glitter wall, all while promoting existing and exclusive products.

“We want to have true consumer-facing experiences [as we continue to evolve Maybelline],” said Amy Whang, senior vice president of marketing at Maybelline in the US. “The younger consumer today is looking beyond just the regular shopping experience. Basically, we want to show that we’re not just an old heritage brand of drugstore makeup, and that we can provide them with high-performance products that are on-trend.”

For this experiential push, Maybelline is focusing on promoting the Super Stay Matte Ink liquid lipstick, which is a key product category for the brand. However over the course of the nine months that the installation will take place, the cosmetics brand intends on launching exclusive products tied to the experience.

In September, Maybelline will also open the Maybelline House pop-up during New York Fashion Week, a consumer-facing space that will host master classes and also welcome editors and influencers.

Color Factory in NYC is an offshoot of the original SF-based outpost that opened in 2017 as a month-long celebration of colour and creativity. For this outpost, 16 artists will also be exhibiting their work, while LA-based kidswear brand Gymboree, a brand who following bankruptcy has recently undergone a revamp, will also be hosting their own room.

Retail with an element of escapism and play has gained traction among experience-hungry consumers. Interactive pop-up spaces have become a successful tool to not only increase brand awareness, but drive exclusivity around its products, which are often tied to that specific time and place. For instance in June, Coach hosted a self-discovery fairground experience, also in the American city.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Events Retail

Sephora taps into beauty fandom with Sephoria convention

Sephoria: House of Beauty

In the year of its 20th anniversary, Sephora has announced SEPHORiA: House of Beauty, a two-day experience that will give beauty fanatics education, inspiration and immersive and shareable moments.

This marks the first time the retailer is joining the ever-growing Con culture of consumer-facing festivals dedicated to a single category or hobby, which so far in the beauty space has been dominated by Beautycon.

Taking place in downtown Los Angeles on October 20-21, 2018, the event will host more than 50 beauty brands throughout interactive rooms that merge the physical and the digital.

Deborah Yeh, SVP of marketing and brand at Sephora, says: “At the heart of it, SEPHORiA sets out to celebrate the often indescribable euphoria you get from playing in the vast world of beauty — from discovering game-changing products or trying out a new look to engaging with digital technology that takes personalization to a whole new level.”

Yeh adds that to build the event, the company has drawn from the insights and learnings of physical and digital experiences that Sephora clients love in stores, and created a place where its community can live out all of their beauty fantasies.

So far, the company has hinted that during the event, guests will have the chance to meet with influencers, brand founders and other industry pioneers, attend classes and take home personalized products. Brands will likely include LVMH names and Fenty Beauty, which the retailer exclusively sells in the US.

Although Sephora is the first major beauty retailer to enter the Con space, it has not become unusual for brands to deploy one-off events or museum-like experiences to promote their ethos to a new or existing fanbase. The approach works not only as a brand awareness exercise, but gives a niche – and highly-engaged – audience the chance to experience the brand through new mediums, such as education and personalization.

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Editor's pick Podcast

HBO on how Westworld engages with superfans

Liz Bacelar and HBO's Steven Cardwell
Liz Bacelar and HBO’s Steven Cardwell

At the core of the success of Westworld – HBO’s hit show that has had the most successful series debut in its history – is its engagement with fans, says Steven Cardwell, director of program marketing at the network.

By creating a series of immersive and interactive experiences to promote the show, HBO has found the secret sauce to engagement. “The fanbase are going to be your biggest evangelizers. They’re the people that you want to make sure you’re treating almost as partners in a way to help really amplify your messaging,” he says on the latest episode of TheCurrent Innovators podcast. “Give them the keys to the car and let them drive it because they’re going to be able to speak organically to that fan community.”

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

Following this year’s SXSW festival, where Westworld arguably hosted the most buzzed about brand activation, Cardwell speaks to our founder Liz Bacelar on how important it is to keep the conversation going with fans in-between seasons, which in Westworld’s case, has been an 18 month-long wait. In a media space so cluttered with scripted and reality programming, it is important to find other avenues to engage with fans before and after the episode has aired, he notes.

That theory resonates heavily with the fashion and retail space, where a multitude of stores are fighting for relevance in tough market conditions. Focusing on superfans and driving experiences that engender engagement, is key to advocacy and loyalty, Cardwell says.

For those unfamiliar with Westworld, it takes place in a fictional Wild West-themed amusement park titled Sweetwater, where hosts are androids who allow paying guests to engage in whatever activity they want with no retaliation. The SXSW experience saw a recreation of said amusement park in deserted land outside Austin, Texas, where guests who managed to snag coveted tickets were fully immersed in the Westworld universe for three hours.

The experience was undeniably HBO’s moment in the spotlight at a festival that is slowly evolving as a platform that mirrors culture, rather than glorifies tech. It also taught many brands attending, including an unprecedented number of fashion and beauty players, that if you build an experience that satisfies the need for escapism, consumers will come – even if that means queuing with strangers for a bus to an unknown destination.

On the podcast, Cardwell also talks about why shiny new technology wasn’t central to the experience, despite it being at the crux of the show’s concept, and why authenticity in building brand moments is key.

Catch up with all of our episodes of TheCurrent Innovators here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by TheCurrent, a consultancy transforming how consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick Retail technology

Bourjois unveils virtual try-on triggered by physical products

Bourjois Magic Mirror
Bourjois Magic Mirror

Coty-owned makeup brand Bourjois has unveiled a new smart mirror experience that enables shoppers to virtually try on make-up simply by picking up a cosmetic product in store.

Available at the brand’s newly relaunched boutique in Paris, the blended reality mirror is said to be an industry first as it integrates physical product – in this case makeup – with the augmented reality experience happening on the screen.

Shoppers can, for instance, pick up a lipstick and the chosen colour will instantly appear on their lips via the smart screen. The connected screen currently features the ‘pick up’ experience with the Rouge Velvet lipstick collection, and shoppers can then complete the digital look via onscreen eye make-up and blush, which is matched to their individual skin tones.

“As part of our desire to reinvent the retail experience through purposeful and personalized innovation, the Bourjois Magic Mirror represents the most extensive integration of physical products and digital content in the beauty industry,” said Elodie Levy, Coty’s global digital innovation senior director.

“Most women intuitively prefer to play with a lipstick rather than touch a screen, as there is an inherent sensual aspect in cosmetics packaging that no technology can replace, and our new Magic Mirror provides this desired experience to shoppers.”

Coty’s innovation comes from research that shows that 72% of consumers want an in-store beauty experience to be a mixture of both physical and digital elements in order to feel more ‘believable’. Moreover, the company believes virtual product try-on solves other retail-related issues such as testers not being available, as well as general hygiene concerns.

To create this experience, Coty worked with London-based digital studio Holition and retail marketing experts Perch. Holition is also responsible for Charlotte Tilbury’s in-store smart mirror, as well as Rimmel London’s makeup filters on Facebook Stories, but what differs in the Bourjois experience from other mirrors, however, is that it is customizable by product, as opposed to previous mirrors that focus on looks. Holition’s FACE software also allows skin tones to be analysed, thus providing a more personalized experience.

The experience is complemented by NY-based Perch’s expertise in the mirror’s form and function, where the smart camera monitors a defined area for activity, and automatically triggers visual content.

On the future of in-store marketing, Perch Interactive CEO Trevor Sumner says it is about blending digital experiences naturally into the shopper journey. “The Bourjois Magic Mirror uses computer vision to sense the most important indication of interest in physical retail – when a shopper touches a product – unlocking an experience that encourages natural pathways of discovery, education and engagement.”

Tapping into the digitally-connected beauty shopper’s need for peer engagement, the mirror also offers three playful filters and a feature that takes selfies, which can either be printed in-store or sent to the customer via email, which links to purchase all trialled items at Bourjois’ online channel.