The future is here, folks.
Augmented reality software developer, Zugara, has just been granted a patent on its augmented reality social commerce platform, Webcam Social Shopper (WSS). The platform simulates trying on “one or more virtual-wearable items within a video feed” and then gives the user the “ability to use gestural controls to navigate through the interfaces.” Then, they can take pictures of themselves “wearing” the garments, and share them with their friends–and this all happens from within the WSS interface.
This technology can be used from many different devices with video feeds–from the normal PC’s, tablets, and smartphones, to devices such as depth-sensing cameras and eyewear (think DVF and her Google Glasses).
Zugara’s goal was to cover several aspects: addressing not only clothing, but all forms of accessories, too; body part detection to address sizing; social shopping from a sharing standpoint, as well as the simultaneous-use standpoint; and giving the user both motion and voice control.
We’re so excited for everyone over at Zugara for having their hard work pay off! We got the opportunity to try out Barbie’s Dream Closet (which uses Zugara’s technology–click and try it for yourself!) at NYFW Fall 2012 last Spring, and it was pretty amazing.
We were able to chat with Jack Benoff, VP of Product & Marketing at Zugara, to get a few more details on the technology.
TWF: Can you discuss Zugara’s next steps? What’s your future vision for this?
JB: Obviously, I can’t disclose too much. I can say that Zugara is a b2b company–we’re an enterprise solution. We focus on creating an amazing social experience for shoppers, but at the same time we want to create a solution for retailers that’s easy to use and makes the integration process as streamlined as possible.
TWF: I’m obsessed with the idea of body detection in regard to sizing and fit–how accurate is that?
JB: It’s accurate–it knows where you are. We try to avoid saying we address “fit” because, while it’s extremely accurate, the shopper’s expectations of “true fit” just can’t be met with the technology at this point.
TWF: How about the visuals? A lot of the augmented reality technologies at this point have images that either look dense and bulky, or look nothing like the item you’re actually wanting to try on.
JB: People think they look great. We focus mainly on the look and style, because that gives consumers a better way to validate their purchases.
TWF: A lot of the issues that I’ve heard personally about people fearing the whole “virtual dressing room” technology is the concern of privacy–such as, what if this computer I’m standing in front of in my underwear is actually broadcasting me across the internet? Can you speak to that?
JB: We don’t capture images or anything–it’s completely private. Also, people tend to trust the brands they shop with. It’s definitely in the Terms and Conditions, and if it became something we need to think about addressing, we would. We could possibly do that via a user interface element that lets the user know this specifically. But at this point, that isn’t even something we’ve seen people being concerned about.
TWF: Is there anything else you want to share with me that you want people to know about The Webcam Social Shopper and its patent?
JB: This is just a huge day for us–we’ve been working on this for years now, and it’s amazing to finally have your inventions protected.
Jess Surbaugh is TWF’s Digital Content Editor. Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave. Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables.
Featured image via Zugara.