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Editor's pick product Retail

Puma releases sneaker that triggers interactive AR content

Puma has released a new sneaker that activates augmented reality filters and more content once scanned by the user.

Wearers can scan the LQD Cell Origin AR with a dedicated app, that then uses machine learning and AR tracking technology to ‘read’ the shoe, and trigger the experience on their phones. Users can then experiment with AR filters, learn more about the shoe and even play an interactive mobile game.

“LQD CELL Origin AR is PUMA’s answer to a world in which the line between reality and the virtual realm becomes increasingly blurred,” says the brand.

AR filters show the shoe seemingly bursting into flames, while more styles will be released within the next month. “Inside LQD CELL” is a feature that allows users to learn more about the shoe’s construction, displaying it in its separate layers. Meanwhile, the LQD Dash game challenges players to avoid digital objects from hitting them, and they can even re-scan the sneakers to gain more ‘lives’ within it.

The app also connects to Puma’s website where customers are able to purchase the shoe and other styles within the family, if they haven’t done so already.

Users don’t need the physical shoe to activate the content, however, as the experience can recognise a flat image of the shoe, therefore can be triggered by scanning an image of it on a computer screen.

AR is a popular technology of choice for sportswear or streetwear brands hoping to engage with their young user base. Last year, adidas deployed AR at ComplexCon, much to the frenzy of festival-goers. Previously, Nike had experimented with the technology on everything from a city-wide scavenger hunt to a location-based Snapchat activation.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The 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 product technology Uncategorized

Nike taps into fit customization with app-enabled sneakers

Nike has launched a power lacing sneaker that allows users to customize the shoe’s fit through a dedicated app, called Nike Adapt.

The Adapt BB, which is targeting basketball players, uses the brand’s newly developed fit technology, FitAdapt, to adjust the shoe onto the person’s foot and give them the most comfortable and personalized experience. It is inspired, once more, by the self-lacing sneakers in the Back to the Future II movie from the 1980s; a dream that Nike has been chasing ever since.

It works by using pressure sensors to register the foot and activates a tiny motor and gear, which then tightens or, in other words, laces the upper side of the shoe. After it is securely attached to the player’s foot, the fit of the shoe can be adjusted either manually, by pressing a specific area on the sneaker, or by using a designated smartphone app.

For basketball players the sneaker is especially useful as they can adjust the fit of the shoe based on different moments in a game. For example, when the player is taking a time out or has finished the match and their feet are swollen after strenuous activity, the shoe can be loosened for comfort.

“We picked basketball as the first sport for Nike Adapt intentionally because of the demands that athletes put on their shoes,” says Eric Avar, Nike’s VP creative director of innovation. “During a normal basketball game the athlete’s foot changes and the ability to quickly change your fit by loosening your shoe to increase blood flow and then tighten again for performance is a key element that we believe will improve the athlete’s experience.”

Similar to the HyperAdapt 1.0 self-lacing shoe, the first one the brand launched to market in 2016, this model was put through a series of tests including temperature and end of life tests, as well as focus groups featuring professional basketballers.

This is an important phase in the product development of a Nike product, says the brand, as founder Bill Bowerman, an athlete himself, believed fit was the foundation of any athletic performance. “The Nike Adapt BB helps the athlete find their custom fit and provides uncompromising lockdown, feel and traction throughout a game, but we knew it would only be validated once the game’s best players tried it out,” says Avar.

Nike’s future ambition is to bring the FitAdapt technology to other sports and lifestyle products in its portfolio, meeting fit demands that differ depending on context and environment.  

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners for your innovation strategy. TheCurrent 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.

Categories
e-commerce mobile

M-commerce now: All about smartphones & borderless

mobile

The world of e-shopping is now global and it’s also mobile. That’s the conclusion of a new report from the British Retail Consortium and Google looking at the last quarter of 2015. In fact, UK retailers are benefitting from a surge in international shoppers browsing their sites on their smartphones in particular.

BRC chief Helen Dickinson summed it up: “The final quarter of the year was very much a digital one. The internet played a vital role in driving sales for UK retailers, and, as has been the case for some time now, mobile devices were key to this.”

In the UK itself over the Christmas period, over half of searches were conducted via mobile devices during peak periods. But what’s really interesting is how many global shoppers were browsing cross-border via their smartphones.

While the research focused on the UK, it must be assumed that the trend is also being seen by retailers from other countries with a global profile, and that’s likely to be driving the opening of dedicated local sites. For instance, M&S launched Australian and New Zealand local websites last week as a response to the fact that its UK site was getting a huge amount of traffic from southern hemisphere customers. And many US e-stores are very globally-focused too with more local sites opening.

But back to this report: which global groups are looking at UK sites? Well UK shopping is increasingly popular among Indians (smartphone searches up 39% but tablet searches down 23%), as well as Brazilians (phone searches up 13%, tablet searches down 23%), and Russians (despite increasing political tensions between the UK and Russia, smartphone searches rose 35% but tablet searches dropped 28%).

Search volumes also grew in Mexico, Indonesia, Turkey, Spain, Hungary, Argentina, Germany, the Netherlands and the US. But Japanese searches via both phones and tablets fell.

And what are they buying (or at least browsing for)? The biggest spike in searches was enjoyed by beauty, followed by fashion (up 51% and 41%, respectively), then leisure (up 37%), and department stores (33%). All of those categories saw tablet volumes declining but not by as much as smartphone searches grew.

By individual item, shoppers searched for Christmas jumpers (interesting given the much-talked-about fall in popularity for them last year), Halloween costumes and make-up, wedding dresses, engagement rings, and fragrance.

It’s undeniable that larger-screen phones have helped this shopping revolution as devices like the bigger Samsung Galaxies and iPhone 6s have made shopping a less squint-inducing experience than it used to be. So where does all this leave tablets? Well, not out in the cold, of course. Tablet sales growth may have slowed but the category is still important – and low-priced versions like the Amazon Kindle mean many more people now own one.

But while they’re technically ‘mobile’, many consumers don’t seem to see them as such. Instead they’re using them as laptop replacements to use at home. Which means out-and-about browsing, for many, is a smartphone-only activity, as an Episerver report from last week showed.

And the future? More of the same it seems. In the absence of any game-changing devices (no, I’m not including smartwatches because I’m still not convinced their impact on shopping just yet will be for anything more than contactless payments), it looks like 2016 will be all about smartphones.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday. Image via Pexels.com

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digital snippets e-commerce film mobile social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Asos launches podcast, Burberry’s success on Periscope, Jet hits $1m in first-day sales

A round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech…

asos

  • Asos launches weekly podcast in customer engagement push [Retail Week]
  • Burberry’s Snapchat and Periscope campaigns deliver a record 100m impressions [The Drum]
  • Jet, the new Amazon competitor, hits $1 million in sales on launch day [re/code]
  • Forever 21 launches Instagram-powered thread screen [DigitalBuzzBlog]
  • Nordstrom is making it simple to buy via text message [NRF]
  • Birchbox’s monthly deliveries will give virtual reality a fascinating test run [AdWeek]
  • Katy Perry, Coty launch perfume line with Twitter pop-up shop [AdAge]
  • Victoria’s Secret chatting app ensures instantaneous customer satisfaction [PSFK]
  • LVMH to launch Apple Watch rival [Reuters]
  • Amazon will be the number one US clothing retailer very soon [Bloomberg]
  • Old Navy follows viral hit with another back-to-school music video [AdAge]
  • Rakuten buys virtual fitting room start-up Fits.Me in a fashion commerce play [TechCrunch]
  • E-commerce start-up Tinker Tailor shuts down operations [Fashion Times]
  • Personal shopping app Scratch launches with $3.6 million in funding [Fashionista]
  • Battle of the buy buttons: What does the social commerce hybrid mean for retail brands? [The Drum]
  • The surprising way smartphones are changing the way we shop [The Washington Post]
  • Malte Huffmann of Dafiti on cracking fashion e-commerce in Latin America [BoF]
  • Fashion’s biological future is now [Huffington Post]
  • Programmable clothes are going commercial [Co.design]
  • Apple Watch sales: what we know (and don’t know) [WSJ]
  • Pebble boss: ‘one day, people will not be able to live without their smartwatch’ [The Guardian]
  • Does Ringly have a place in an Apple Watch world? [TechCrunch]
  • Vogue launches Alexa Chung fashion documentary series, crowdsources questions [Vogue]
  • 10 retailer blogs that are genuinely worth reading [Econsultancy]
Categories
Blocks mobile social media

Footlocker jumps into emoji space with sneaker icons

footlocker_shoemoji

Emojis are increasingly infiltrating daily life thanks to growing integration with mobile messaging services, but more recently as a product of numerous branded launches in the space too.

Burger King, Coca-Cola and Ikea have all experimented with their own emojis or full emoji keyboards, now we’re seeing Footlocker the latest to release its own line fit for smartphone usage.

The sports retailer has introduced 80 iconic sneaker replicas ready for use as part of its new app for iOS and Android. The “Shoemoji” library includes styles from brands including Nike, Converse, adidas, Under Armour and more, and will regularly be updated with new products as they launch.

“Just as smartphone users communicate with each other using various emojis, customers can now share their love of sneakers in a new, visual way and be the first to show off some of their favorite styles with new Shoemojis,” reads the write-up.

BBDO New York, the agency behind the concept, added: “Communicating with your fellow sneakerheads will never be the same.”

It’s a smart move, today there are 41.5bn messages and 6bn emoticons or stickers sent worldwide every day on mobile messaging apps, according to Swyft Media. For Footlocker, the launch is a nice PR story, but also a tool by which to generate downloads of its new app, not to mention a great engagement opportunity tied to future product releases.

Categories
e-commerce Editor's pick mobile

Peak Performance runs GPS-based virtual outdoor campaign

peakperformance_magichour_01a

Outdoor sports brand, Peak Performance, is running a digital campaign that sees fans able to win clothing and other goods at set times of day while out in the wilderness.

The Magic Hour, as the initiative is called, sees virtual pop-up shops appearing in certain rural locations chosen for their views just before sunrise and sunset. Included are mountain tops, a golf course and a lighthouse on a small island. The aim is to appeal to cyclists, golfers, ramblers, runners, trekkers and walkers.

Creative agency Perfect Fools Stockholm developed the mobile web experience, viewable at CatchMagicHour.com, which displays the shop location, distance to it, opening hours, a collection catalogue and how many items are left to claim. It relies on smartphone GPS to detect when users are at the right location, only showing them a preview of the collection if they’re not.

peakperformance_magichour_03b_clean

Robin Salazar, online marketing and e-commerce manager at Peak Performance, said: “The Magic Hour is a beautiful time of day and we want to encourage people to experience that time at fantastic locations. The virtual pop-up shops are an added incentive to experience sunrise or sunset and bridge the physical digital divide.”

The campaign is being pushed online as well as via PR in Austria, France, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan and UAE.

Categories
Editor's pick mobile Startups technology

John Lewis announces beacon technology start-up Localz as £100k JLAB incubator winner

This post first appeared on WGSN.com/blogs

Jlab_Localz

Beacon technology got another nod of approval from the retail sector today as start-up Localz was announced as the winner of John Lewis’ JLAB tech incubator.

The ‘micro-location’ technology business wins £100,000 in investment as well as the chance to trial its solution with the department store in the UK. Its premise is to provide customers with access to enhanced services on their smartphones based on their physical location.

It could detect when they walk into a store, for instance, and automatically trigger that their Click & Collect order be prepared in order to help speed up that process. Similarly it could help with navigation around the stores based on online wish lists.

“It’s all about choice, designed to make shopping easier for those who wish to use it,” reads the write-up.

The concept was shaped and honed within the JLAB incubator over a period of 12 weeks this summer. It followed hundreds of start-ups applying to participate in the contest, which called for innovations that could shape the future of the retail experience.

Localz was among five finalists that received mentorship from experts including Luke Johnson, chairman of Risk Capital Partners; Sara Murray OBE, founder of confused.com; and Bindi Karia, vice president of entrepreneur banking at Silicon Valley Bank. The other start-ups were Musaic, SpaceDesigned, Tap2Connect and Viewsy.

Paul Coby, IT Director at John Lewis, said: “Innovation is at the heart of John Lewis and JLAB, our first tech incubator, has given us a new way to explore the technologies that will change how we all shop in the future. It’s been a hugely rewarding and educational experience, drawing on a diverse group of people from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives, and we have a very worthy winner who we’re looking forward to working with in the months ahead.”

Stuart Marks, a partner in JLAB, said Localz won because the team felt it had the potential to become a long term partner to John Lewis and to provide continuous innovation for their customers. It will continue to develop its technology in conjunction with John Lewis and will launch live trials in store at a date yet to be announced.

Categories
e-commerce mobile social media

Yoox x WeChat collaboration blends commerce and gamification

yoox_wechat2

Yoox teamed mobile commerce with gaming in a new app launched via messaging service WeChat earlier this summer.

The internet retail company rolled out official WeChat accounts in the US and Italy, and updated its China one, back in July, offering users the ability to shop via an interactive look book, and to instant message customer service teams and personal stylists. Content also invites users to exclusive events and provides early access to specific products.

Accompanying that came a gamification layer with its Shake Your Style app.

This enables users to literally shake their smartphones to see different product options in order to help revamp a friend’s style. Speaking at the Details magazine Tech & Tastemakers Summit in New York earlier this month, Clement Kwan, president of YOOX Corp, the group’s US branch, said: “You shake it and like a slot machine three different looks come up… You can slowly nudge your friends to change their style.”

The resulting looks can accordingly then be shared with contacts across other social platforms, in what’s no doubt intended to drive further customers into WeChat and onward to purchase.

Kwan added: “WeChat has 400m people on it globally, 100m of them outside of China. It’s a great platform for blending social, mobile and commerce together.” Yoox reportedly sees 42% of its global traffic coming from mobile devices already.

Categories
Editor's pick film mobile social media

Hunter to partner with tech start-up Grabyo for real-time #LFW show

Hunter Original AW14 Look 1

Live and localised are two key phrases you can associate with the Hunter Original show due to be held at London Fashion Week next Saturday, September 13.

The British-based wellington boot brand, in its second ever season showing on the runway, is set to partner with real-time video start-up Grabyo in order to deliver up to 10 instantaneous highlights from the catwalk to its fans via Twitter.

Key moments as they unfold will be available for followers in 10-45 second clips, whether at a desktop or viewing via their smartphones (which is where the majority of traffic inevitably tends to be seen based on Grabyo’s past experience).

Better yet, said content will also be geo-targeted on Twitter so the type of items shown from the collection are reflective of the user’s particular region and climate.

Read the full story at Forbes.com.

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce film social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Wren, Gucci, John Lewis, Lord & Taylor, Kenneth Cole, Sephora

A bit of a catch-up post today in light of several weeks of travel… here then all the latest stories to know about surrounding fashion and tech from the past fortnight or so:

 

  • “First Kiss” film (as above) goes viral with 63 million views – is ad for clothing label Wren [NY Times]
  • Gucci launches own Spotify music hub to promote short film ‘The Fringe’ [The Drum]
  • John Lewis looks to digital innovation as next big thing in retail with ‘JLab incubator’ [The Guardian]
  • Lord & Taylor now accepting bitcoin [CNBC]
  • Kenneth Cole challenges consumers to do good deeds and prove it via Google Glass [Creativity]
  • Sephora launches ‘Beauty Board’ social shopping platform [USA Today]
  • Bergdorf Goodman makes Instagram shots shoppable at SXSW with 52Grams [5th/58th]
  • Dolce & Gabbana crafts love story around perfume to appeal to consumer emotion [Luxury Daily
  • adidas launches gaming platform powered by social media starring Lionel Messi [Marketing Magazine]
  • Can Instagram save ageing teen retailer Aeropostale? [CNBC]
  • Which big brands are courting the maker movement, and why – from Levi’s to Home Depot  [AdWeek]
  • How beacon technology could change the way we shop [Fashionista]
  • On Instagram, a bazaar where you least expect it [Bits blog]
  • What Google’s wearable tech platform could mean for the fashion industry [Fashionista]
  • Smartphone payment system to be unveiled in UK [FT]
  • Alibaba ramping up efforts to sell US brands in China [WSJ]
  • What does WeChat’s new e-credit card mean for luxury? [JingDaily]
  • Op-Ed | Are camera phones killing fashion? [BoF]