In a sit-down interview with Lauren Indvik, Tim Cook talked about a future of convenience, where shopping is shaped by the world of augmented reality (AR). It is no secret that Cook is betting big on AR. He recently confessed in an article in Vogue.co.uk, “I don’t think there is any sector or industry that will be untouched by AR.” To Cook, AR has the potential to transform everything into the fashion space.
Fashion Shows Are Ripe For AR Intervention
Focusing on the runway, he shared how thinks that fashion shows are “ripe for AR intervention.” He added, “If you think about a runway show in the fashion world, that’s a great application of AR because some of these, you want to see the dress all the way around, you do not want to just see the front.”
As many more runway shows cater to a broader consumer audience, through social media and online, brands like Burberry are introducing new AR features to their app that allow users to overlay Burberry-inspired digital illustrations, by the artist Danny Sangra, onto their camera view. The app gives the user the option to share with their friends on social media.
Is Retail Tech’s Future in Apple’s ARKit?
Giving us a glimpse of online shopping’s future is Apple’s ARKit. Unveiled at Apple’s annual developers’ conference in June 2017, Cook shared, “The new toolset, from Apple, enables software developers to build AR experiences on iPhones and iPads more easily.” Since its official launch on 11 September 2017, retailers, like Ikea and Anthropologie, have integrated the ARKit technology into their iPhone and iPad apps. “Over time, I think [these features] will be as key as having a website,” Cook said to Vogue.
“The new toolset, from Apple, enables software developers to build AR experiences on iPhones and iPads more easily”
As the conversation continued, Cook admitted that the impact of AR technology would not be felt this year (2017), but he shared with Indvik that he does see a significant role for AR in the online shopping experience – and potential for offline applications, too.
Talking about the future, Cook unveiled that an area where Apple, AR, and fashion might intersect would be Glasses. I like the sound of AR glasses designed by Apple; I am sure they would be sleek and impressive. “There are rumors and gossip about companies working on that, and we obviously don’t talk about what we work on. But today I can tell you that the technology itself doesn’t exist to do that in a quality way,” Cook said. “We don’t give rats about being first; we want to be best in creating people’s experiences. Something that you would see out in the market anytime soon would not be something that any of us would be satisfied with.” Cook has spoken, so I guess it is time for fashion to really commit to taking advantage of new AR technologies.