Editor's pick technology

More on that VR experience in the WAH Nails ‘Salon of the Future’

The WAH Nails Virtual Reality Designer
The WAH Nails Virtual Reality Designer

London-born nail art boutique, WAH Nails, is offering customers a VR experience in its new Soho salon in a push to engage even further with its hip millennial and Gen-Z audience.

Working with creative studio DVTK, the WAH Nails Virtual Reality Designer aims to help customers choose from over one thousand nail designs, which is often an overwhelming process.

Inspired by the Snapchat filters that overlay prints through augmented reality, WAH Nails founder, Sharmadean Reid MBE, wanted to develop something that allowed customers to preview nail art before they had them painted on. What they didn’t want to do, however, was merely create an app where you simply overlaid a colour render on a static image.

The WAH Nails Virtual Reality Designer
The WAH Nails Virtual Reality Designer

“We want to excite our WAH fans who may never have tried any immersive beauty tech before and we didn’t want to create something gimmicky,” she said. “Virtual reality is an amazing way for us to “gameify” the experience of getting your nails done in a visual language that our Gen-Z customers understand.”

Reid believes that the digital design experience is well suited to the brand’s deeply connected demographic, as many grew up with avatar-based games such as the Sims and, more recently, Kim Kardashian’s app. “I am really excited about the potential of VR in the beauty world and the customer insight we will gain from people using the experience in store,” she added.

For version one of the experience, being tested in-store for the next three months, WAH is using a Samsung Gear VR headset and Leap Motion. Customers must place their hands in front of the headset, and the Leap Motion device will follow them and match their movements within the app in real time. Customers can then select skin colour and play around with nine different designs.

The WAH Nails Virtual Reality Designer within the brand's new 'Salon of the Future'
The WAH Nails Virtual Reality Designer within the brand’s new ‘Salon of the Future’

A future iteration of the experience will allow the customer to print the design on a WAH Nail Printer, order nail polishes online, or send their nail design of choice directly to the nail artist.

The move follows significant investment by beauty brands within the digital and in-store tech space. We recently saw Charlotte Tilbury introduce an augmented reality mirror in its new Westfield London store for instance, while others including Sephora through to L’Oréal, Lancôme, Rimmel and Covergirl are also using AR for make-up try-ons via an app.

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What you missed: personalised retail, AR in Covent Garden, what went wrong for Nasty Gal

augmented reality
Augmented reality in Covent Garden

As we move ever closer to the end of the year, there are lots of forward-looking stories coming out, speculating around what the future of the industry might look like. Perhaps unsurprisingly, personalisation and machine learning are popping up time and again. A must-read this week is the perspective from Benedict Evans on what sensors in cameras everywhere means for data, retail, fashion trends and more.

Also worth taking a look at is the augmented reality that’s taken over Covent Garden, how adidas is taking inspiration from Uber in its latest m-commerce app, and insights on the rise and fall of both Nasty Gal and Karmaloop.

Don’t forget our Snapchat Masterclass takes place in London tomorrow (November 22) – just three tickets left for anyone looking to take advantage of our last minute 20% off offer using code “community”.

  • Sir Stuart Rose, chairman of Dressipi: The next revolution in retail is data-based, personalised services, and the UK is at the vanguard [City AM]
  • ForerunnerVC on tailoring investments to the new reality of retail [Medium]
  • Covent Garden becomes world’s first augmented reality shopping destination [The Industry]
  • How Adidas’ m-commerce app takes inspiration from Uber to go beyond influencers [The Drum]
  • Benedict Evans on cameras, e-commerce and machine learning [Benedict Evans]

  • Nasty Gal: What went wrong? [BoF]
  • What the hell happened to Karmaloop? The rise and record-breaking fall of the pioneering e-commerce clothing site [Complex]

  • What WeChat teaches about the future of social commerce [AdAge]
  • How 5 brands are testing Instagram’s new shopping feature [Glossy]
  • 6 examples of how marketers are using Snap Inc’s Spectacles [AdWeek]
  • Snapchat parent files for $25 billion IPO [WSJ]

  • WAH Nails to open “salon of the future” in Soho [The Industry]
  • How predictive AI will change shopping [HBR]
  • The Marks & Spencer brand needs an experiential makeover to win back consumers [The Drum]
  • How luxury retailers are navigating Black Friday [Glossy]

  • Apple considers wearables expansion with digital glasses [Bloomberg]
  • Reebok brings jobs to America, along with 3D printing innovation [BrandChannel]
  • Virtual reality takes fans inside the world of watches [NY Times]
  • 11 exciting new materials designers should watch [Co.Design]