Gap Tests New Virtual Dressing Room
by Liz Nunan, Gap Inc. blogger
Today at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, Gap unveiled an app that gives customers a new way to try on their favorite Gap styles anywhere they want – at home, at work, at the gym…you decide.
To learn more about this latest initiative, we talked to Gil Krakowsky, VP Global Strategy and Business Development at Gap, about the app and what it can do.
Gap announced a new augmented reality experience at CES today. Tell us more.
Gap is really excited to unveil a new pilot app called the DressingRoom by Gap. The app was created to help customers virtually “try on" clothing through a smartphone, Augmented Reality experience. This is how it works – shoppers choose a Gap style that they might be interested in purchasing. Next, they select one of five body types featured in the app so they can “try on" the piece of clothing from anywhere on a Google Tango-enabled device, and if they love it, they can buy it online.
The fashion industry has not traditionally been geared toward helping people understand how clothes will actually fit. Gap is committed to winning customer trust by consistently presenting and delivering products that make customers look and feel great and we are using technology to get there.
Sounds amazing – how did Gap create this?
The DressingRoom by Gap app was created in collaboration with Avametric, an SF-based app developer, and Google. Google was an obvious collaborator for us on this project, as a longtime innovator in the Augmented Reality and mobile visualization space. And, Avametric is an early pioneer in the Augmented Reality space. The technology they've created uses avatars to help people understand how products will fit without stepping foot in a dressing room, and that's really exciting.
Gap has been working on the fit of our products to better match the way customers are shaped instead of just looking at “fit model" sizes. One of our top priorities is continuing to improve our technical knowledge around how fabric stretch, drape and feel impact the sensation of fit. A lot of that customer information was inputted into the Avametric technology, backed by the Google Tango platform and ASUS hardware, to develop the DressingRoom by Gap pilot app we're looking at today.
Why did Gap decide to create this now?
Gap is committed to making it effortless for customers to look great and on trend, while delivering products that fit, are flattering and make you feel confident. We know that consumer shopping behaviors continue to change at a rapid pace, while technology continues to change the way customers engage with brands, browse products and shop. We want our customers to always be confident that the product they see will fit the way they expect.
Technology gives customers incredible autonomy around the shopping experience and it's our responsibility to constantly explore new ways to make the shopping experience effortless and pursue solutions that will add value to the customer experience. The DressingRoom by Gap pilot app is just one element of our longer-term strategic plan in this space.
When will customers be able to try the app?
At this time, we are in pilot phase with a proof of concept that we will continue to push forward. For those who have a Tango-enabled device, DressingRoom by Gap will be available at the end of January. In the meantime, we are continuing to explore how the DressingRoom by Gap pilot app will work for customers and how it can be used to improve the browsing and shopping experience.