For the longest time, the driving force behind advancements in virtual reality technology came from the gaming community. Soon however the military picked it up and researchers started to add more reality to the virtual information and augmented or mixed reality was born.
Augmented reality basically uses the real world as it basis and augments it ( or mixes it ) with piece of virtual data or objects projected into the real world view. Pokemon Go was the first video game to use a common smart phone ( camera front and back) to create a mixed reality world of play.
Now however with the advent of some very good virtual and mixed reality headgear from companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook’s Oculus, Samsung Gear and many more, developers are finding so many cool things for VR tech. Retails sales is just starting to use it to their advantage.
Companies like Nike where they are developing systems to let consumers design their own running shoes on-line and then have them shipped to their home. The next logical step is to 3d print your new custom shoe either at the local Kinko’s or on your own printer. For more information on the Nike system see further below.
For clothing a Paris based company called Smart Pixels is helping retailers design VR settings in their store where customers can see all of the different colors and designs on a single blank mannequin. This is best done using augmented reality based around virtual reality technology.
How The Nike virtual design studio works.
An all-white version of the sneaker you are designing is placed in the NIKEiD Direct workspace. From there, the shoe is connected to the NIKEiD configurator, and as soon as color and material selections are made, they are projected onto the shoe for a clear, immediate representation of the final product, allowing you to experience your design coming to life right in front of your eyes. Once wrapped, your design heads into production at a NIKEiD factory.
The Air Force 1 iD is currently available to customize in the NIKEiD Direct Studio with three different color palettes: the Essential, the Winterized and the NBA. More styles are set to be added in future seasons.
The experience is open now at Niketown London.
We picked one system to show you, namely the Samsung Gear which is also made by Oculus so you will get a good feel for the virtual reality technology and what is available.