Augmented Reality technology by Holition
Mercedes-Benz integrates Apple’s Siri technology into it’s A-Class electronics systems, Bentley incorporates the iPad into it’s Mulsanne Executive and Dior launches an online magazine
2011 was undoubtedly the year that luxury brands accepted and embraced social media. Launches on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter – and even Instagram and Tumblr – became run of the mill, if not expected by consumers. Mobile optimisation, alongside dedicated Apps for smartphones and tablets, similarly blossomed beyond expectation, as the industry recognised the importance of personal connections in modern day communications.
A technology that seemed to be launched less frequently was Augmented Reality. The emerging favourite of jewellery and watch brands has been seen here and there in mobile applications, or present at large luxury department store launches and occasionally in projects launched by magazines and publishers. But adoption has remained somewhat slow in the luxury fashion world, where brands have chosen instead to focus on shoppable video, interactive retail concepts or lifestyle content.
“ Augmented Reality adoption has remained somewhat slow, where brands have chosen instead to focus on shoppable video, interactive retail concepts or lifestyle content ”
But this month there has been not one, but three launches in the augmented reality space. Zegna are using the Aurasma application on its Facebook page to unlock secret video content. Mr Porter – celebrating its first birthday – arranged a digital treasure hunt using the Goldrun, application where users would be shown virtual shopping bags in various locations. And finally, Selfridges launched its ‘fantasy mirror’ with technology by Holition, where women are able to ‘try-on’ lingerie without removing their clothes.
The technology and its newness certainly present challenges for luxury brands, whose customer interactions must be seamless and never hindered by the overly ambitious use of digital channels. But it will be interesting to see how this year unfolds in this space, and whether or not soon we will all be able to try on the latest fur coats from Fendi, from the comfort of our homes.
Alexander McQueen has unveiled its latest Web site, designed by Wednesday London, broadening its e-Commerce offering to more destinations in Europe. The new platform features runway videos and images, seasonal look books and pre-collections, and will eventually accommodate the entire McQueen archive of runway films and pictures.
Baccarat has re-launched its website, which now incorporates video, commerce and content, optimised for mobile viewing. The site also incorporates a personal gift registry and wish list, as well as social media integration and lifestyle, service and designer sections, showcasing its heritage and various events. The lifestyle section includes wine-tasting collections and explains the shape of its glasses to enhance the experience.
Baglioni Hotels has launched an App for iPhone and iPad, realised by web marketing company Relactions. Alongside the reservations and hotel services, the Baglioni Hotels App features exclusive guides to main Italian cities, as well as London and the enchanting French villages where the Baglioni Hotels are situated. The concierges of the Baglioni Hotels Collection have developed recommendations for restaurants, bars and boutiques, as well as events and shows.
Bentley‘s Mulsanne Executive Interior Concept is moving into production, where the backseat of the vehicle becomes a deluxe mobile workstation. Integrated into the space are twin iPad’s with wireless keyboards, internet functionality, a 15.6-inch screen deployed from the roof that is controlled by the iPad’s, a Mac Mini computer in the trunk and two smaller 8-inch screens in the headrests of the front seats.
Christian Dior has launched its own online magazine, DiorMag, initially going live with eight articles — that number representing one of the founder’s good-luck charms. The title will be updated almost daily with news from the storied house and its global activities. The firm engaged a full-time editor in chief, whose identity has not been disclosed. Content is currently available in French and English, with the launch of a simplified Chinese version expected soon.
Canadian brand DSQUARED2² has launched dsquared2.cn in partnership with Yoox, its first official online “flagship” for China. Chinese shoppers can currently purchase garments and accessories from the Dsquared² SS12 collection, including footwear and bags. Chinese consumers are also invited to watch videos of fashion shows and learn about the brand via a short film series, “Dean and Dan Go to China,” featuring founders Dean and Dan Caten.
Niche Media founder Jason Binn, in collaboration with Gilt Group and James Cohen of Hudson News, is set to launch a new multi-platform digital and print publication, DU JOUR. The quarterly print publication and monthly digital publication will target three million top-tier subscribers who can become premium opt-in members of personalized weekly email newsletters.
Elite Traveler has begun to share behind-the-scenes content from luxury ateliers on its Facebook page. “There has always been lots of great content we would gather that didn’t fit into the coverage in either our print publications or website,” explains Douglas Gollan, president of Elite Traveler. "We have a great team of full-time editors who travel extensively visiting the manufactures and ateliers of luxury suppliers as well as the destinations we cover. The idea behind the pictorial tours was to use Facebook’s familiar album format to share some of that experience from a visual viewpoint.”
The House of Fabergé will launch its high and fine jewellery collections on an e-commerce website on April 16. The “online boutique” is designed to complement Fabergé’s existing network of retail stores, promising that the site will have “a signature blend of refined sophistication and modernity.” The site also features an interactive area where customers can engage further with the world of Fabergé, experiencing social projects such as the Mir Fabergé art initiative, available also as an iPad application.
Gucci has launched its latest issue of Gucci Style for the iPad and iPhone, featuring fashion videos, a 360-degree tour of the new Gucci Museum, and live streaming of fashion shows. The shoppable magazine also features recipes from the Gucci Caffe, a travel guide to Tuscany, interviews with Chris Evans, the face of Gucci Guilty, and previews of award winning Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund films.
In a bid to revitalise its image and convey the message that its brand is “alive,” British luxury carmaker Jaguar has launched its latest campaign on JaguarUSA.com, Facebook and YouTube. The campaign has been developed by Spark 44 — a London agency established last June that has offices in Frankfurt, Los Angeles and Shanghai, and is partly owned by Jaguar.
Loro Piana has launched an interactive web platform, entirely developed in-house over the past two years with special company-owned technology. The concept is based around taking clients on a virtual journey of lifestyle moments in which Loro Piana products and services find their natural environment. The comprehensive platform has been launched with e-Commerce, with a free application for iPad and iPhone to follow.
Mercedes-Benz has announced plans to integrate Apple’s Siri into its A-Class electronics system, which would allow drivers access to their iPhone apps using voice commands. The proposed program, Drive Kit Plus, will work in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz’s Digital DriveStyle App to translate the iPhone’s screen onto the in-car system screen. Drivers will be able to listen to music, change radio channels, update status on social networks, and send text messages.
Mikimoto has launched its brand new UK website and digital marketing initiative, enabling the company’s world famous brand of pearl jewellery to be purchased online in the UK and EU for the first time. Mikimoto has also launched a dedicated UK blog, featuring the latest news about Mikimoto products, and a host articles about pearl buying and grading.
Website & Source: mikimoto.co.uk
MrPorter.com has launched a mobile treasure hunt across five cities to celebrate its first birthday. Treasure hunters in Sydney, New York, Paris, London and Hong Kong were asked to download augmented reality app Goldrun, which then directed them to a choice of locations in each city, where Mr Porter shopping bags appeared – via augmented reality – on the user’s smartphone.
Website & Source: mrporter.com
Selfridges and Holition have partnered to launch a new augmented reality (AR) experience that allows customers to try on designer underwear without taking off any clothing. The ‘fantasy mirror’ technology allows female shoppers to try on lingerie by simply standing in front of a specially designed screen. A motion sensor camera attached to the screen takes an infra-red scan of anyone standing in front of it and then creates a highly accurate 3D silhouette of that person which mimics in real-time the movements of the shopper.
Small Luxury Hotels of the World has launched slh.com in an iPad and mobile-friendly format. The new versions allow users to browse, book and review SLH’s collection of over 520 luxury hotels in more than 70 countries. Paul Kerr, CEO of SLH comments, “It is now vital that businesses move to mobile optimised sites as 50.3% of the UK now owns a smart phone. As an avid iPad user myself, it was hugely important that our excellent website could be accessed wherever one is in the world on mobile-friendly versions of the site”.
Image: SLH Directory for the iPad
Website & Source: slh.com
Swarovski Elements has re-invigorated its website, now offering all information concerning brand initiatives and the latest Elements innovations, alongside information about design partners and global retail collaborations. The platform also features an eShop, events calendar, detailed news and events coverage on an international level. Finally, users are invited to browse the monthly magazine for the iPad on the site.
The Hour Club has been launched as a private website, reserved only for owners of a Vacheron Constantin timepiece. The site seeks to unite owners of Vacheron Constantin timepieces around their shared passion for technical and aesthetic haute Horlogerie and give them access to personalised services and special events.
Yoox Group has launched an e-commerce platform dedicated to footwear, offering shoe designs from top international brands at Shoescribe.com. The Italian online retailer currently operates Yoox.com and Thecorner.com and manages online stores for brands including Armani, Diesel and Marni, in both Europe and China.
Rolex has launched official YouTube and Twitter accounts for its fans to follow, using the social video-sharing channel to launch its new products at BaselWorld. The WorldofRolex channel also features short films featuring its two brand ambassadors, Tiger Woods and Roger Federer, previewing its new Sky-Dweller timepiece.
Ermenegildo Zegna is using the Aurasma mobile application to incorporate an augmented reality feature into its Facebook page, which gives users secret mobile videos to future campaigns. Using Aurasma to scan the Zegna profile picture, activates a video of the upcoming contemporary art installation at MAXXI – National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome.
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