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Selfridges London unveils AR and virtual experiences with Inition

Selfridges London, the UK’s second largest department store, has unveiled a virtual reality and augmented reality display as part of the Festival of Imagination.

‘The Imagine Shop’ devised and curated by Dezeen and Inition, will showcase future-facing products, and includes a pop-up watch store, which allows customers to virtually try on a range of watches which are modelled to their wrist using 3D tracking technology.

The ‘digital window’ makes it look like the user is wearing the watches for real. They can look at each design from different angles by rotating their wrist as they normally would.

“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.

Open until 2 March, the Imagine Shop is also set to cater to those whose budgets stretch to items larger than a watch, with AR technology used to market a £300m luxury 90 metre super yacht designed by Blohm + Voss, in partnership with Zaha Hadid. If the marketing works, this will be the most expensive item ever to be sold in Selfridges.A plinth transforms into a holographic style visualisation of the yacht when viewed through an iPad, with users able to walk around the yacht 360 degrees and physically move in closer to see finer details.Each section of the yacht is supported by a brief animation – the Aft Deck, Four Deck, Ariel View, Main Salon and Master Stage Room. Patrick Coote, sales and marketing director of Blohm + Voss Shipyards GmbH, said:“Superyachts are not something that you can carry in your briefcase and take to meetings, events or client presentations. Even models can be cumbersome and awkward to transport. Augmented reality allows us to give potential clients a 3D view, wherever they happen to be, in an office, exhibition, meeting or boat show. As AR improves and progresses, we are always looking at how we can further harness it to improve the service for our clients.”A representative of Blohm + Voss will fly over to London to discuss purchase options with potential customers. The 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 which includes a mind-control game and a £20,000 3D printed ping pong table.

Ishbel Macleod

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