So I was recently exposed to the post Augmented Reality Finds a Place to Fit: Shopping! The article states, “Two recent AR implementations show promise, however, by adding value and actually demonstrating how useful the technology can be.” The author of the post is referring to Converse’s Sampler application for AppleiOS devices and a TryOnBathingSuit application created by ImmediaC. With such an endorsement, I had to check these apps out.

Review: Converse’s Sampler application

Perhaps I am biased as I work with the technology and know what is possible with it, but I am not impressed with this application at all. Sure once I activate the app I can see how the sneaker will look on my foot with a superimposed image, but I can see how a sneaker will look on my coffee cup or anything else, as it is just that, a superimposed image. It floats in the middle of the live camera feed. There isn’t any form of tracking or foot recognition. I wouldn’t say FAIL on this app, but I will say I expected more from a brand like Converse if trying to create an augmented reality user experience. Follow Adidas lead and get more crafty with the tech.

Review: TryOnBathingSuit application
I went to the ImmediaC site to give it a try and immediately was told I could not view it in Chrome only FireFox or IE. Using one of the supported players, it requires I get a plug-in from AR company Total Immersion. Besides the frustration of having to install a plugin for the experience, I already have one installed for the Transformers application TI did a while back and the fact that the player by the same company doesn’t work for both applications stopped me there in my interest of trying on a virtual bathing suit.
Although I would never use an application like this for the above and other reasons, I don’t look good in a two piece, I can see how this could be helpful for women trying on bathing suits. It is something one can do in the privacy of their own home and addresses the health considerations of trying on bottoms as I have been told from female friends.
The augmented reality dressing room seems to be a hot item. Using AR to see how clothes would fit or look on a person is something that I see as somewhat useful applications. There are plenty of these popping into the mainstream stores and online.


JC Penny and Seventeen Magazine

As stated in the article, “For years, we’ve been hearing about the potential for augmented reality (AR), a technology that combines the physical world with virtual overlays. More than two and half years ago, research firm Gartner dubbed AR as one of its top 10 disruptive technologies for 2008 to 2012, for example. We’re over the hump of that hype cycle, but AR hasn’t yet gone mainstream and likely won’t for 5 to 10 years because it’s still a solution in search of problem.

While I do commend the author for writing more about augmented reality, I am somewhat shocked that after years now of the technology being shoved into the mainstream by gimmicky ad campaigns and floating points of interest on mobile phones that applications like those covered in the piece are still of interest to bloggers looking for more from the technology. If one is looking for more hope with AR as a technology, here is a freebie, go to town. Simply write about other ways the technology is currently used to add value and be helpful to our daily lives. You will be doing developers and others involved in AR a huge service.

5 comments on “Shopping around for uses with Augmented Reality

  • So basically we are not closer to useful AR for merchants then we were 5 years ago. What is it going to take to change that? I guess, what is the killer app?

  • Hey Christopher, appreciated your point of view. Are you trashing the Gigaom blog post or how well AR development is progressing? We are closer. Take a minute and do the D'fusion player update before you throw the baby out with the bath water. The hand gesture tools in our Tryonbathingsuit application do move the technology forward. JC Penny shopper and fashionista are 2 D. Our fitting room is has 3 d models.

    John Leahy, Cofounder,

    • Hello John,
      MY thoughts on this post were more a reaction to the Gigaom post. I applaud all who use the technology in innovative ways, but being a developer of AR applications and knowing what is possible to do with it, I find that I am a tad more critical than most. I took a few minutes to get the app and try the experience. I do like the fact that your HUD controls move, but found that the controls were not the most responsive. I stand by what was stated in the post, "I can see how this could be helpful for women trying on bathing suits."

      To confirm, I asked some ladies around me what they thought of the app. All were amazed by the tech and found it fun. Given this is your target audience, I say well done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *