Retailers have an opportunity with the influx of mobile and digital options.

Drones are forecasted to transform the market and retailers are reportedly considering reading customers’ facial expressions. One technology that’s presented itself as a new option to deliver enhanced omnichannel experiences to consumers — augmented reality — has climbed the ranks from obscurity to likelihood. Google Tango has already deployed its “Dressing Room” app in partnership with Gap and Swarovski recently launched its own initiatives for its home category. Here, Ed LaHood, chief executive officer of Thyng LLC, an AR app and platform, explains how the technology will continue to grow in relevance.

WWD: Why was Thyng created?

Ed LaHood: Thyng was founded with the goal of making augmented reality easy to use for brands and consumers. The vision is to use augmented reality as a new type of communications platform that will allow brands to communicate with consumers in entirely new ways.

WWD: What solutions does Thyng offer?

E.L.: Thyng’s target-based augmented reality solution, called Thyng Targets, provides the ability to scan a specific product’s packaging, logo, or even the product itself to trigger an augmented reality experience overlaid onto that real-world item. A shoebox can be scanned, for example, resulting in a marketing video displayed. Or, the shoe itself can be scanned, displaying running tips, or a limited-time coupon, or even a “buy now” button.

Thyng Surfaces, our surface-based augmented reality solution, is powered by Apple’s ARKit. It allows photorealistic 3-D items like shoes, clothing and even people to be displayed on any surface in the real world. The latest items could be displayed in your own home for you to see, interact with and purchase.

WWD: How can augmented reality benefit retailers and brands?

E.L.: For retailers, augmented reality can help improve the customer retail experience by providing product information at the point where the consumer is most interested, when they are directly engaging with the product.

For brands, augmented reality can improve the level of engagement a consumer can have with that brand’s product, building an entirely new level of brand loyalty. If a consumer knows that they can scan a certain brand’s products every day to get the latest news or tips, then the relationship between the consumer and that brand has just increased significantly.

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