In a March Madness first, the NCAA offered viewers six games (including the Final Four and the championship game) in virtual reality through the Oculus platform and Gear VR devices. The NCAA also departed from the norm of free content and charged a small fee ($7.99 for all six games). Included in this fee was a “fully-produced” VR experience involving multiple camera angles with a courtside perspective as well as VR-specific, in-game commentary from three dedicated analysts.
In Germany, Adidas has taken customized shopping to a new level with an experimental pop-up store. The store sells sweaters that are designed by the shopper and include a body scan to ensure a custom fit. To design their sweater, shoppers enter a dark room and stand on an illuminated box where patterns are projected onto their chest. They can reorganize the patterns with hand gestures. Shoppers can design several patterns then compare them on a monitor before making their final choice. There’s even a high-tech gadget that allows shoppers to test colors with cloth swatches. The sweaters are knitted in-store, washed, dried and available within four hours of ordering.
Lowe’s knows their stores can be big, intimidating and not the easiest places for finding things. Now they’re experimenting with an augmented reality app that will show shoppers the fastest way to find items on their list. Shoppers input the items they need into the app, which will then determine their location in the store and provide a bright yellow line on the screen to guide shoppers directly to each item. When all items have been collected, the app will guide them to the checkout line with the shortest wait time.