Matt Maher is the founder of M7 Innovations, leading the brand through the evolving media and technological perspectives of AR, VR and Voice.
With countless non-fungible tokens, virtual reality fashion shows, and pairs of augmented reality sneakers, technology and luxury are in a heterogeneous relationship. The former did not fully meet the expectations and experience demanded by the luxury fashion industry. But in my view, this doesn’t stop major brands from moving forward, favoring flash over features, and seeking headlines rather than return on investment.
And while pandemics slowed supply chains in luxury, fashion, and almost every industry, technological progress accelerated. Taking AR as an example, social platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat have significantly enhanced AR tools, Google seems to be serious about 3D modeling, and Apple has doubled LiDAR. I think these examples are fused into a single truth for luxury. Virtual fitting with high quality 3D models is almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
However, besides AR, which encourages luxury brands to consider devoting themselves, other modern new technologies have potential opportunities (and some drawbacks). As the founder of an innovation consultant, I’m particularly interested in four, so let’s dig into them and create a case in one way.
Metaverse: Make a strategy and wait.
Let’s start by following the path of virtual fashion in which we all can exist in the “Metaverse”. The 2021 buzzword was coined from the popular 1992 science fiction book Snow Crash, where people can spend their time in a virtual world called the “Metaverse.” This amorphous term includes any digital environment in which people spend their time. Fortnite, Decentraland, and even daily Zoom calls can all be considered “metaverses” because they are digital avatars and places where you are communicating with others through digital connections and spaces.
What I believe luxury brands fit into is to offer virtual products to each user of these digital ecosystems. Fortnite, a popular video game, made an estimated $ 50 million in revenue from a set of “skins,” costumes that didn’t bring real value or benefits to the game. This skin is just one of the hundreds of skins on the market. If this level of virtual fashion were translated and put up for sale in, for example, the Facebook family of apps, I think it could be an 11-digit industry overnight.
Voice technology: lean forward to be more productive.
Alexa and Google have become voice advocates around the world, with millions of devices processing billions of voice searches. The first instinct of many brands is to “build skills” or add some experience to one of these two major ecosystems, but the power of voice is information availability and hands-free. It’s about increasing productivity from the underlying technology of the user interface.
In my view, wise money is about empowering the workforce. Anne Hathaway proved to be an irreplaceable presence for the Devil Wears Prada Meryl Streep as a knowledge base for whispers at the event. Voice technology through hearables allows luxury employees around the world to have their own Anne Hathaway in their ears. Improving product, inventory and consumer access is an essential value added to luxury brands.
Games and esports: Dedicated to sponsorship.
Today, with 2.7 billion gamers worldwide, the industry is expected to exceed $ 200 billion by 2023. With the rise of casual games, the explosive growth of esports, and the growing number of passive viewers on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube, games have transformed into culture and lifestyle. ..
Most luxury brands have the same ambitious attitude as these up-and-coming gamers, and their ability to sponsor, integrate, and (literally) participate in games is more prevalent than ever. Brands that don’t have a strategy and aren’t thinking about how to get into the game will miss it.
Non-substitutable tokens: Consider waiting now.
Many experts believe that NFTs are a digital answer to physical artwork, but the essential link to cryptocurrencies has led to a highly volatile market for NFT values. NFTs are a great philosophical solution for artists who can earn commissions every time their work is bought or sold. However, in my view, the current excitement and high prices of certain NFTs have created an unsustainable bubble, but long-term efforts at NFTs remain promising.
For luxury brands, the opportunity lies in a digital or virtual experience that can complement physical sales. Making a pure artistic move may attract headlines, but it adds no value to consumers until the technology and crypto markets stabilize.
To summarize the outlook for this technology, AR is very simple and may not have been created equally, but it can be incredibly effective for luxury brands. However, there are other technology tools to explore, depending on each brand’s target demographics, customer experience goals, and current desire for technology. Proper use of this technology to increase sales and improve the user experience creates great opportunities. Therefore, check what you have and where you want to go, and open your heart.
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