Yesterday, YouTube introduced a new feature: live-streaming 360-degree video. Many see this as another stepping stone into virtual reality (VR). Currently, internet speeds prohibit a smooth, full VR experience. The lack of VR headsets in homes is another obstacle. Step by step, we are moving toward more immersive multimedia. But, the idea to connect the audience with the most realistic brand experience is one of many intersections between fashion and technology. As we move further into tomorrow, here are some milestones in just the last couple years.
2014: Topshop Experiments VR with Runway Show
As the first to experiment with VR for fashion shows, Topshop introduced the project in February of 2014. Created using the Oculust Rift by the Inition team, Top Shop's VR treatment seated 5 people in the window display of their UK Oxford flagship store. The five people got to enjoy London Fashion Week unfold in front of their eyes.
2015: North Face Uses VR for Amusement-Ride Retail Experience
Seeking an "emotional connection with its customers," North Face (TNF) has long been known to send exploration teams to the ends of the earth to document adventures using their gear. In 2015, TNF showed off their experiment with VR company Jaunt to immerse customers in various national parks and outdoor activities. The video above playfully combines VR with reality in an ad.
2016: 20+ Brands with VR Shows
There are now more than 20 brands who have experimented or are continuing to experiment with this new technology. While the experience is not completely seamless, it is moving toward that direction. Like any new technology, it will require early adopters like Balenciaga, Coach, Dior, Jason Wu, Rebecca Minkoff, Tommy Hilfiger, and many others. But it may be awhile before we can expect a smooth transition into normalcy like the iPhone did for the smartphone world.
image of Dior Eyes