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Selfridges displays futuristic experiences

By Retail Technology | Thursday January 16 2014

High concept campaign offers augmented and virtual reality experiences using state-of-the-art 3D tracking and wearable technologies to showcase superyachts and watches

Selfridges is bringing future facing technologies to visitors as part of a new campaign designed to explore the nature, power and positive impact of imagination.

‘The Imagine Shop,’ devised and curated by design publication Dezeen and creative production company Inition, has been designed to showcase future-facing products as part of the UK department store’s ‘Festival of Imagination’ campaign.

Linda Hewson, director of creative and windows at Selfridges, said: “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.”

Future-facing retail innovations
The products on sale 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. 

The shop also features augmented reality (AR) technology, which is used to market a luxury £300 million, 90-metre superyacht designed by Blohm + Voss, in partnership with architect Zaha Hadid. It will be the most expensive item to ever be sold by Selfridges. This display includes a plinth that transforms into a holographic style visualisation of the yacht when viewed through an iPad. And a Selfridges window changes from a view of a London street to a sea view as a true-sized superyacht sails past. 

Andy Millns, creative director of Inition, said: “The Blohm+Voss superyacht project illustrates how powerful AR can be as a presentation tool. We’ve seen a steady growth in commissions for high production-value bespoke augmented reality experiences for marketing purposes, especially in the luxury sector such as real estate and automotive. Inition is also receiving increasing enquiries from marketing agencies about delivering compelling immersive experiences for their clients.”

Customising shopping reality

Shoppers with tighter budgets will be able to select from various Dezeen stocked watches by virtually trying them on first. By wearing a provided paper bracelet encoded with information, customers can virtually try on a range of watches, which are modelled to their wrist using 3D tracking technology. Watches can be customised and ordered instore. 

The concept’s use of immersive technology is also designed to highlight how shops will be able to reduce their stock levels in the future. Customers can try items in the store, talk to onsite experts and advisers and get the most appropriate products delivered to them.

The Imagine Shop, which is open until 2 March, is as the storewide Festival of Imagination programme of events, future-gazing concepts and innovative products.

Inition also worked on the virtual reality display by designer Gareth Pugh opened recently in the Selfridges Men’s Designerwear concept that also forms part of the festival.

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