Clothes have always played a crucial role in our lives. After all, it helps to create a certain image, stand out from the crowd, and it also grants a sense of confidence. People still keep spending time and money on getting custom-tailored clothing. However, the question is – should they really go through so many processes to buy a new shirt, skirt or trousers? Usually it takes days and sometimes even weeks to perform measurements, fittings, tailoring and remaking some elements.
Have you ever thought about how many people actually refuse to order clothes from tailors because it is too time and cost consuming? People are likely to buy fast fashion in the mall, then spend a week or two on waiting for their garment to be completed. This is a real problem, especially if you think about sustainability of such clothing choices. The tailor-made pieces last longer, look better and are more sustainable.
So is there really any way to change the clothing industry? Yes, if you consider building an AR solution. It doesn’t really matter whether you own a small designer company or have a huge clothing manufacture. If you are somehow related to the garment-making industry, it is time to discover more about AR technology and what it offers.
In this article we would like to discuss Augmented Reality solutions, why clothing companies need to develop and implement them, and what those solutions are capable of.
What is AR and where it can be applied?
We have already covered a topic of various realities on our blog. So if you are interested in it and want to get a clear understanding, just check the article here. Now as to Augmented Reality, first of all it is necessary to mention that it does not create a fully artificial environment like Virtual Reality does. It rather adds some elements (videos, graphics, etc.) to the existing reality and in such a way extends it. That is why this technology is perfect for the clothing industry and it can be a base for numerous platforms and applications.
AR can be a real game changer when it comes to the way we choose and buy clothes, and it can boost the e-commerce industry. Applications that use AR technology may allow to create garments for people with the most diverse body shapes or even with some physical disabilities (without making them come to the real tailor to do measurements). And so-called virtual fitting rooms will allow you to check how a certain piece of clothing fits your body and if you are going to look good in it.
This is a revolutionary approach that will provoke a lot of changes. So if you are looking for a way to improve your business, consider implementing AR. We have prepared some great examples for you demonstrating the true power of AR.
#1 Virtual Tailoring
In 2020 to get a custom-made piece of clothing you do not need to go to a tailor. All you need is to have a smartphone and an AR application allowing you to do your body measurements. Here is how it works – a user opens an app, and it scans the body using a smartphone camera. The application gets all your measurements in a couple of seconds and stores that data. The app can also determine an angle and distance relative to the subject in front of it, so all measurements are quite accurate, and a tailor can use them to create your desired garment.
So if you live in one state but are eager to get a suit tailored by a real professional from another state, you do not need to go there. And you do not even need to do your body measurements (which can turn incorrect and then you’ll get a not perfectly fitting suit).The AR application will do everything for you.
There is also a huge benefit for all tailors and designers, since AR tailoring apps let you design a garment style, choose fabric, haberdashery products, and perform various customizations. This can be done together with a client which helps to meet all his requirements and create a great garment.
One more great option of AR tailoring software is that it can easily create an exact 3D model of any body type that helps to perform virtual fitting. So both designers and clients get better understanding on how the clothes will look like on a real body.
#2 Virtual Fitting Room
Shopping will never be the same again due to technology. Not only everything shifted towards e-commerce, but also to touchless selections. How is that? Well if you ever seen a virtual fitting room then you understand the principle. Now many people all over the world try on clothes without actually touching it or even entering the store. And this all became possible thanks to AR solutions. Just take a look how the Lily store in Shanghai already attracts customers with its virtual fitting.
It is impressive, isn’t it? By having the right AR software your store can attract numerous potential customers effortlessly. People can try on various clothes without entering your showroom or store and then make a decision to actually buy something from you. This is a whole new level of selling clothes and serving customers.
The AR fitting room can work differently – more autonomous (when a camera scans a person and then creates a model based on measurements) or more hand-tuned (when a person enters height, age, weight, body shape, etc. and the software creates a virtual body accordingly). In any case the created virtual body is true to life and allows a customer to try on anything he is interested in that you have in your store. The whole process is easy, fast and convenient.
Without doubt AR technology can boost clothing businesses of any size and transform the way people choose things. If a store implements a virtual fitting room, then even bayers can make use of it. For example, a buyer asks his clients to do virtual measurements (or provide necessary numbers), and with the created 3D body models of his clients goes shopping. If a store has an online virtual fitting room, then a buyer can perform fitting, and instantly share with clients.
#3 Virtual Design
Image credit: Carlings
Apart from being useful for designing clothes for common clients, AR solutions can help create uniforms for teams that usually consist of people with different body shapes. Let’s say a designer gets an order to create a custom uniform for a team of basketball players. With an application that uses augmented reality it will be possible to get measurements of all team members and provide a more personalized approach.
For example, it is possible to alter the colors of shorts, the length of T-shirts, add some unique design elements that will make a team stand out. And all changes can be discussed on the go and seen on a 3D modelled basketball player. This helps to save money and make clothes construction and creation more sustainable (less fabric will get wasted, and the impact of the production on the environment will be decreased).
Such AR design apps also help to simplify the order making process, and improve effectiveness of a tailoring company (since there will be no individual measurements and fittings).
Some good examples of AR use
If you are already thinking about developing your own AR app for fitting or designing purposes, but you are still in 2 minds, then it is time to check out some real examples. We would like to speak about some great solutions that already help companies to optimize their business and increase revenue.
AR applications can be not only helpful tools for both clients and tailors, but also a powerful marketing instrument. And some business giants already proved that. For example, Dior made use of AR feature to promote and sell glasses. All people can use their smartphone and try on any fashionable sunglasses without even leaving a house. It is a so-called virtual fitting room able to attract hundreds of new customers to the branded eyewear.
Now as to more affordable brands. Let’s speak about Gap and their AR powered dressing app. It allows people to create a so-called avatar by entering their body parameters and try on any piece of clothing available on the Gap website. But what’s more exciting is that you can actually buy a garment without leaving the dressing room app. A couple of clicks and your order is ready to be delivered.
Next in our list is the well known online store Asos that has already implemented AR feature in its application. It is called Virtual Catwalk and aimed to help potential customers decide whether they like this or that clothes by taking a real look at it.
And have you ever heard about smart mirrors powered by AR technology? They are actively used by several huge companies already. Timberland, Topshop and Uniqlo implemented this AR tech as a part of a huge marketing campaign to entertain clients. However, this turned out to be more than just entertainment. People actually tried on clothes using those smart mirrors and ended up buying them.
Many big and small companies already have AR-powered applications for designing clothes. Those solutions allow users to sign in, perform measuring their body and then select basic variants of garments and play with them: choose another print, add some details, change color, alter sleeves or length, etc. The app includes options that can really be turned into reality by a designer. So even without meeting and doing fittings and measurements, a client and a designer can create a unique piece of clothing that will fit perfectly.
Have you heard about Neuro virtual designing platform? If you didn’t you should definitely Google it and read all details. In brief, this platform is used during designing and it helps to visualize created object in 3D model, try it on a virtual model and see everything like in real life. You will even be able to see how the fabric falls, moves, wrinkles, etc. So before actually creating a piece and soing anything with fabric you can make sure you’ve done the construction right and you will not waste your materials.
Technologies that are used for AR app development
Sometimes it can be hard, because you need to use several platforms – the one for game development, one more – for 3D modelling and animation and last but not least – a necessary SDK. So it is better to hire real professionals who have experience in developing similar solutions to avoid various development problems.
It is also necessary to choose the right SDK for your AR solution since they all can have different features and some of them may be a better fit for your project than the others. Let’s take ARKit which is a framework of Apple, it has tools allowing to integrate camera motion effects, realistic photo rendering, track body movement in real time, etc. This can be crucial if you are building an app that will need to take people’s measurements.
Or let’s take Google’s platform ARCore which is capable of tracking movements, estimating the intensity of light and understanding the environment where you are located. It even can recognize the size of real objects. The usage of this platform is free as well as of ARKit. So no additional cost will be needed, only a team of people who are knowledgeable and experience in app development.
Modern world is all about speed. We do everything on the go and are not used to waiting for a long time. However, when it comes to clothing, we want our garments to be sustainable, perfectly tailored and delivered fast. And such clothing requires a great amount of time, doesn’t it? Well, it used to but now everything has changed.
In the era of AR applications it is easier than ever to design clothes, perform fitting and alterations even without meeting in person with your clients. AR solutions are great for both clients and tailors. And it doesn’t really matter whether you own a small company or a huge corporation, if you are making clothes or selling it, you need a virtual tailoring app, virtual fitting room or virtual designing tool. These solutions can really turn your business to a whole new level.