Augmented reality has been creeping ever so slowly into the fashion world. Earlier this year, British retailer Topshop introduced a virtual fitting room that made use of the technology. This idea has spread to other retailers and is fast becoming one of the more alluring novelties to come to the world of retail fashion. AR fitting rooms are relatively easy to set up as they are run on Microsoft’s Kinect platform. A new clothing line is emerging, however, that seeks to inject augmented reality into the clothing itself, allowing wearers to become a walking AR experience rather than have virtual clothes superimposed on their bodies.
Zappar, a developer of augmented reality applications, has partnered with Hybrid Apparel, a progressive clothing company, to create a new brand of clothing called Zapparel. This new clothing line blends fashion with technology. The company specializes in t-shirts and each shirt is branded with customized AR content. Smart phone users can simply point their phones at the shirts and a virtual display will be initiated.
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Interactivity is at the core of this ambitious venture and both companies hope that their apparel will become much more than everyday clothing. Some shirts hold an augmented reality game within their designs, allowing others to play the game with a simple scan. The content embedded in the shirts can be changed, allowing customers to build customized AR experiences that suit their personality.