LOS ANGELES – Within the next two years, ecommerce is expected to make up 22% of all global retail sales, with nearly $700 billion of that going to fashion. But for buyers looking to pick up some new clothes, there’s always a risk that what you see isn’t exactly what you’ll get.
But what if you could have a model walk a runway just for you, showing the clothes you are interested in right from your couch? To do exactly that, Japanese clothing brand ANAYI is taking advantage of an advanced form of interactive video to offer consumers a way to shop online with more confidence than ever before.
To highlight its new Spring and Summer Collection 2021, ANAYI released 19 original volumetric videos. Shoppers can select a video from their desktop using any browser, and view a model in motion – from any angle, including close-ups – to see how the fabric will drape and move with the wearer, rather than judging based on heavily stylized (and occasionally misleading) product shots. Potential buyers can also tap the "3D Hologram" button, or scan a QR code on a mobile device to place a 3D hologram of the model in their room using web-based augmented reality.
“Before the pandemic, global ecommerce sales topped $3.5 trillion, and most experts expect that number to grow as people stay at home,” said Kamal Mistry, CEO of Arcturus. “Retailers were already looking for a new way to stand out and volumetric video offers consumers a better, faster, and more convenient way to shop. Retailers that don’t embrace this may find themselves left behind.”
For this campaign, ANAYI commissioned Crescent Studio, one of Japan’s top production companies and owner of the world’s largest volumetric studio. Models wearing ANAYI’s latest fashions were recorded in Crescent’s Tokyo location, where multiple cameras on a single stage simultaneously focused on a subject, capturing the entire three-dimensional space. Consumers can then explore that full space in HD quality, zooming close to see the details in the fabric, or backing out to see how it moves.
Once Crescent recorded the models, the data was then processed using the Arcturus HoloSuite, a collection of software specifically designed for the post production and distribution of volumetric videos. The suite includes two pieces of software, HoloEdit and HoloStream, both of which were built to edit and stream everything from fully explorable concerts to online workout sessions to virtual tours of existing locations and more.
Although designed for professionals, HoloSuite was built with ease-of-use in mind to create, edit and stream volumetric videos. When paired with new mobile devices with advanced cameras – including the new Apple LiDAR system – the potential for the medium touches on everything from solo influencers creating content at home, to retail giants looking for new ways to engage customers while driving the future of ecommerce.
Using HoloEdit, Crescent edited and compressed the videos into a high quality representation for both desktop and AR use. The results were then sent to HoloStream, where they were encoded into a set of quality profiles, allowing them to be adaptively streamed regardless of a consumer’s internet speeds or stability. The same volumetric files were also integrated with leading WebAR development platform 8th Wall to create the web-based augmented reality experience that works across iOS and Android devices, without needing an app.
“Volumetric videos are a way to go beyond what traditional videos can offer, and it’s something our customers clearly respond to,” said Toshio Takase, ecommerce section manager, ANAYI Division, Far East Company Inc. “Our customers want to take advantage of technologies like volumetric video and AR that make their lives easier and better, and we are happy to oblige.”
ANAYI will continue to host the volumetric videos in the Spring and Summer 2021 Collection through August, marking this as the longest to-date commercial use of volumetric video for an ecommerce application.
“HoloEdit,” the first non-linear editor and post-production tool for volumetric video, and “HoloStream,” a tool that offers streaming options for volumetric video, are both available now. Annual licenses are available for commercial and private use. Special education pricing is available upon request.