Dezeen has teamed up with London department store Selfridges to present a futuristic concept store, featuring an augmented-reality watch store and a walkaround digital model of Zaha Hadid’s £300 million superyacht (+ slideshow).
Visitors will be able to explore an augmented reality scale model of the 90-metre yacht using a tablet computer. A representative of Blohm + Voss will fly over to London to discuss purchase options with potential customers.
The installation is part of The Imagine Shop, which opens on the ground floor at Selfridges on Monday 6 January and runs until 2 March as part of the Festival of Imagination – a store-wide festival that will "explore the nature, power and positive impact of imagination".
Curated by Dezeen, the Imagine Shop will showcase future-facing products and explore how augmented reality could be used in future to create an immersive retail experience.
Large items like cars, yachts or houses can be experienced virtually, existing only as digital models on a tablet or smartphone, but anchored to a physical location via a 2D "marker" pattern that tells the software where to place the object. This means customers can walk round, and even through, objects as if they were really there.
As well as the yacht, the shop will feature an augmented reality Dezeen Watch Store pop-up, where customers will be able to virtually try on a range of watches.
By wrapping a paper "marker" around their wrist and looking at a screen, customers will see the watches modelled on their wrists in real time.
Other products on sale in the store will be grouped in three categories: Future Beauty, featuring objects that express a futuristic aesthetic; Future Life, including new product typologies we may use in the future; and Wearable Technology.
"Dezeen has long been a rich source of reference and inspiration for the creative teams at Selfridges, and we're delighted to finally be collaborating with them on such a uniquely imaginative project," said Linda Hewson, director of creative and windows at Selfridges.
The augmented reality technology has been provided by London 3D technology company Inition. "Inition is excited about the opportunity bringing our emerging technology production experience to present a world-acclaimed architect's designs in a retail setting," said Inition producer Ainsley Henn.
He added: "Being able to walk around a spectacular Zaha Hadid yacht as it 'floats' in front of you is very different to flicking through a traditional brochure. As far as we are aware, this is the most expensive retail item to be promoted in such a way."
Festival of Imagination is at Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London W1A 1AB from 16 January. The Imagine Shop is open from 6 January.
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