Augmented reality demonstration at
Dezeen's Imagine Shop for Selfridges

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This movie we filmed at Dezeen's pop-up shop of the future at London department store Selfridges demonstrates how augmented reality technology could transform retail.

Augmented reality demonstration at Dezeen's Imagine Shop at Selfridges

Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs introduces the shop we curated for Selfridges' Festival of Imagination, which includes a virtual retail experience for Dezeen Watch Store and a life-size walkaround digital model of Zaha Hadid's superyacht - both created by technology company Inition.

"The Imagine Shop is an attempt to visualise the kind of products, services and shops we might have in the future," says Fairs.

Imagine Shop at Selfridges
Imagine Shop at Selfridges

The space on the ground floor of the department store contains all wall of 3D-printed products and clothing by Janne Kyttanen of 3D Systems, and even features a giant printed ping-pong table.

"The most exciting thing here is that we've worked with Inition, which is a 3D visualisation company, to show how augmented reality could be used in stores of the future," Fairs says.

Inition lead creative Alex Lambert
Inition lead creative Alex Lambert

Inition lead creative Alex Lambert then talks about the augmented-reality projects that his company and Dezeen worked on for this event.

"Inition and Dezeen collaborated on two pieces of augmented reality," he says, "one for watches available at the Dezeen Watch Store and another for a £300 million superyacht designed by Zaha Hadid."

Augmented reality demonstration of Zaha Hadid's superyacht model
Augmented reality demonstration of Zaha Hadid's superyacht model

Lambert talks through the technology for the yacht models, which works using a tablet camera that picks up the code from patterned markers then displays the 3D model on screen.

"This type of augmented reality relies on a tablet," he explains. "You'll see a live video feed coming through the camera and once you point it at the marker the 3D model will appear."

Augmented reality demonstratition at Dezeen's Imagine Shop at Selfridges
Augmented reality demonstration of giant Zaha Hadid superyacht model

Two versions of the yacht are included in the shop: a miniature version and a full-size model that glides across the tablet screen.

"We've actually created the yacht in full scale," says Lambert. "It's a sunny blue ocean with a full-scale yacht sailing past, just to give people an idea of the scale of the superyacht."

Alex Lambert tries on designs at the virtual watch store
Alex Lambert tries on designs at the virtual watch store

Using the same technology, shoppers can try on designs from Dezeen Watch Store at a virtual watch shop. Shoppers simply attach a band around their wrist and hold it up to a camera, then the chosen watch manifests over the band.

"We take one of these bespoke trackers... turn to the camera, get the marker in view and boom! The watch appears," Lambert describes.

Alex Lambert tries on designs at the virtual watch store
Alex Lambert tries on designs at the virtual watch store

Inition added texture and shadows to the virtual watches to make them look as realistic as possible. Different models and colourways appear instantaneously around the wrist on screen as they are selected.

"Dezeen are very forward thinking in employing this technology, especially for watches," says Lambert. "In the future hopefully people will download the app, use a webcam or tablet and try on the watches at home before they purchase online."

Outside the Imagine Shop at Selfridges
Outside the Imagine Shop at Selfridges

Elsewhere in the department store, Inition also worked with fashion designer Gareth Pugh to install a virtual reality booth on the first floor and an auditorium designed by Dutch architects OMA has been created in the basement.

The Festival of Imagination continues all this month at Selfridges on Oxford Street, central London.