Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality

Insanity or Future Reality?

Recently I came across a short video on the BBC News website, which caught my attention with its title “will virtual clothes transform how we shop?”. I had never come across the idea of virtual clothing before, other than perhaps in a video game where you are often able to select an outfit for your chosen character and personalise it appearance, such as hair and skin tone. The video showed students from the London College of Fashion exploring how the idea of ‘mixed reality’ could potentially change the way in which we shop in the near future.  

The students could be seen using a smartphone app whereby they created a virtual avatar with extraordinarily to represent themselves with extraordinarily high levels of accuracy, due to the app being able to track the body and obtain a sense of depth. This, in turn, meant that the students could scan items of clothing and overlay them onto their avatars to see whether the item is a good fit for their body shape. Having an app where you can get a totally accurate idea of what items would look like on, would save you, me and countless others a whole lot of time and money.

So is the use of virtual reality technology in fashion just a five-minute fad or a potentially game-changing innovation? The process of returning unwanted online orders is relatively straightforward today. Customers like choices as to how they can return online goods and as such, are often deterred from buying from those brands who do not offer free postage and packaging or the option of returning items to a physical store, but using a virtual reality app to allow customers to essentially “try on before they buy” could alleviate some of these issues.

It is essential that companies invest in technology in order improve the shopping experience and enable customers to make informed choices about their online purchases. It is for this reason that I think having a virtual reality shopping tool is more than just a gimmick and actually has the potential to revolutionise both the way we shop and promote fashion online.  

Hannah Isham