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Virtual reality

Florence Polge-Cohen - 19/04/2018

When augmented reality enters the world of fashion

l'application Zara AR © Zara

For a period of two weeks, beginning on 12 April, the clothing brand Zara has been inviting people to discover the new items from its spring-summer 2018 Studio collection through an augmented reality experience.

Zara is thereby offering an innovative shopping experience thanks to the Zara Augmented Reality application, the result of a collaboration between the creative director, Ezra Petronio, the company HOLOOH and the Morpheo team from Inria Grenoble Rhône-Alpes and its Kinovis platform.
This application enables the brand's customers to enjoy a virtual and interactive shopping experience via their smartphones in one of the 120 stores across the world taking part in this experiment. As a result they can:

  • watch a genuine virtual fashion show by the models Léa Julian and Fran Summers, who perform in the minimalistic shop window of a store,
  • continue the experience inside the shops in front of interactive podiums enabling the discovery of new, virtual silhouettes of the collection,
  • watch a miniature virtual model come to life on the delivery boxes following an online purchase.  

To increase the interactions with this virtual experience, one functionality of the application enables customers to take photos of themselves next to holograms of the models and to share these pictures on social networks.

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But how were these holograms produced?

The multi-camera platform Kinovis - enabling capture, analysis and 4D modelling - is installed on the premises of Inria Grenoble Rhône-Alpes, at Montbonnot. This facility, covering 170m2 and with 68 cameras, is unique on an international scale due to its capacities and its acquisition space. Subsequently, Kinovis enables the acquisition of shapes in motion and particularly lends itself to this first augmented reality experience in the world of fashion.
Last January, all of the holograms presented in the Zara AR application were therefore the subject of a 4D capture within the Kinovis platform. The challenge with regard to the acquisition of the 12 sequences created was to accurately reproduce the models in sweeping movements and with complex clothing effects due to the materials and styles chosen. 
So the gamble paid off for these first fashion holograms, where the rendering and movement seem so real and natural you almost want to touch the clothing on the virtual model.

  • The ZaraAR virtual experience: in the window © Zara

  • The Zara AR virtual experience: inside the shops © Zara

  • The Zara AR virtual experience: on the delivery boxes © Zara

Keywords: INRIA Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes Morpheo Augmented reality Kinovis