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Gucci pushes retail engagement with immersive video displays

Gucci is encouraging consumer interaction in its retail stores with the launch of a new immersive experience using groundbreaking technologies developed by experience design company OOOii.

Unveiled at its newly-renovated Milan via Montenapoleone flagship last week, the initiative includes 50 LCD video wall displays from Planar Systems tiled throughout the store that from 2012 will enable natural human-computer interaction.

Patrizio di Marco, Gucci’s president and CEO, said: “This multi-year Immersive Retail Experience initiative underlines our belief in the growing importance of creating highly impactful and sharable brand experiences across all of Gucci’s platforms and touch points by taking advantage of rapid advances in digital technology. The all-round sensory experience that a customer will now feel when approaching and entering our Montenapoleone store will create an unprecedented level of engagement.”

Three zones have been created in the store: the Immersive Window Display, the Immersive Entrance Display and the Immersive Women’s and Men’s Fashion Show Displays. Each one will showcase curated digital content.

In a second phase planned for 2012, additional functionalities will be introduced which will enable shoppers to interact via motion with the digital content they are viewing.

Inspired by the film Minority Report (on which OOOii also worked), simple hand gestures will enable consumers to pause, rewind and search what’s in front of them. They will also be able to receive images on their mobiles and send notifications to sales assistants in order to reserve items.

Kent Demaine, founder and CEO of OOOii, said: “For years Hollywood has perfected the art of merging virtual content into the physical world where the two appear to coexist. For Gucci, we have moved these techniques onto a scalable architecture so that this process can happen in real time. The ultimate goal is to allow consumers to explore the world of Gucci in effortless and highly engaging ways, while simultaneously allowing the brand to learn from this participation thereby informing the creation and presentation of future content.”

The technology will be progressively introduced to Gucci’s other stores worldwide over the next two years.

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Garrard unveils augmented reality windows

Garrard developed a virtual “try on a tiara experience” in the window of its Albemarle Street store as part of UK Vogue’s Street Lights initiative earlier this week.

The luxury jeweller partnered with augmented reality technology company Holition to create the interactive campaign, which allows users to see themselves wearing the precious item.

Advanced photo-realistic computer modelling and Holition’s unique real-time light reflecting technology means the user can even see each diamond sparkling as they move.

Creative director at Garrard, Stephen Webster, said: “Having seen a demonstration of the technology being developed by Holition we thought it would be fun to use the technique of virtually trying on jewellery and adapt it to create a unique window for Garrard.”

Holition has previously worked with the likes of Tissot, Boucheron and Taccori on similar initiatives.

Garrard’s interactive tiara experience will remain in its windows until May 15. It forms part of the Street Lights project set up by Vogue jewellery editor, Carol Woolton, which in collaboration with The Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins is focused on creating innovative displays within the windows of fine jewellers.

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Topshop Russia intros Kinect technology for virtual fitting room experience

Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect technology is making waves in retail. Hot on the heels of its integration in Nordstrom’s windows, comes news of it being used in the fitting rooms of Topshop Russia.

The motion sensor system, developed by augmented reality company AR Door, means anyone is able to try on clothes by waving their hand, reports Emma Barnett at The Telegraph.

Using image recognition technology, the virtual clothes then pin themselves on an image of the user.