Suzy Shier Dabbles in Augmented Reality

227layarCanadian women’s clothing retailer Suzy Shier is experimenting with online and mobile marketing with in-store app integration.

It’s working with Layar, an app that’s generally used for augmented-reality layers for magazines and print publications. When visiting Suzy Shier locations, shoppers are presented with ads that send them to the Layar app. When they point their cameras at the ad while using the app, it comes to life.

If shoppers want to see how some of the season’s hottest new looks are worn by the pros, they can simply pull out Layar, point and tap, and watch models showing them off. It’s a fairly early implementation of the augmented reality, which could ultimately bring the models and not just the ads to life in the store, but it’s leading to interesting places. We’re not too far from the day your catwalk fashion show can be superimposed on reality by any shopper that stops by center court after it ends.

Written by Nissa on February 26, 2014 – 5:22 pm -
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Westfield Tourists Travel Close to Home

Ask any couple why they haven’t taken a getaway lately, and the answers are likely to be “time” and “money.” Destination NSW is working with Westfield to get around those two problems, though. Time isn’t nearly as much of a factor when you’re travelling within your own country, after all, and money? Well, that’s where Westfield comes in.

For spending $30 or more at a participating Westfield retailer, shoppers are treated to an “Our Time” scratch card. This takes them to, where they can enter their code while being led to all sorts of deals that encourage them to make a little ‘Our Time.’

For their troubles, there are 5000 vouchers for NSW getaways to be had, worth $200 toward New South Wales accommodations each. Should make getting away from it all just a little bit easier.

To encourage shoppers along the path of tourism, several Westfield centers are hosting a unique opportunity to play with some of Australian locals: kangaroos, dolphins, pelicans and humpback whales. Of course, most of those won’t fit into a shopping center comfortably, but they have a way around that little problem: augmented reality. Check it out right here.

Written by Nissa on August 8, 2012 – 5:28 pm -
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Robina Town Centre Brings Out the Virtual Changeroom

One Australian shopping center is jumping into the future feet first. Robina Town Centre is bringing the joys of the Virtual Change Room to all its shoppers.

In one of those rare moments when gaming and retail come together, the Virtual Change Room leverages the power of the Microsoft Kinect. It’s capable of visualizing people in three dimensions and bringing in augmented reality elements. In this case, it brings clothing and accessories to shoppers so they can see how they fit without having to step into a store.

Featuring two full-length virtual mirrors, the Virtual Change Room will allow shoppers to choose between 200 of the Centre’s latest looks, size up the “virtual” garments on their body, receive information on stockists and prices, and print their shopping wish list – all with the wave of a hand.

“Our vision at Robina Town Centre is to provide women and men of all ages with a one-stop shopping portal where elements from online shopping and virtual reality fuse to create the ultimate retail experience,” said Robina Town Centre marketing manager Jessica Buckley.

The technology can have its cons. Shoppers who use it don’t need to spend as much time browsing, which may mean shops get less attention. But for shoppers who are short on time or have young children in tow, it can be a lifesaver. The software lets users play with different looks effortlessly, filtering by store, designs, trends and gender.

Fashion TV host Amber Renae stopped by to introduce the Virtual Change Room to invited guests on launch, and she used the opportunity to share the tips and styles for the season.

Written by Nissa on March 14, 2012 – 5:40 pm -
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Southcenter Gives Shoppers A Happy LOLiday

This Christmas, Southcenter and 15 other Westfield centers are urging shoppers to go over the top. After all, who brings more joy in the holidays than the person who really gets into it, with light shows and piles of gifts and trees from here to forever?

And what better way to get way too into the holiday spirit than with a cheesy holiday card — the kind where you get the whole family dressed up in funny costumes and pose in some outrageous way. But that’s an awful lot of effort, isn’t it?

Enter Westfield’s LOLiday cards. Skip the costumes and the posing, and still come out with an end result that deserves a spot on Awkward Family Photos? Sounds like a good deal to me. The center has used a bit of augmented reality to make this happen. Shoppers download an app, then pose on a specialty backdrop. The app recognizes the backdrop and lets them customize their card with all kinds of interactive features.

If shoppers can’t make it into one of the 16 participating centers, they can also play online. To put together a LOLiday card online shoppers just need a head-on photo of each of the people they want to include in their card. A little cut, paste, rotate and zoom later, and out comes a customized Christmas card they can share with their friends on Facebook, Twitter and email.

The card includes a tasteful bit of Westfield branding, and after sending one users are encouraged to like their local center on Facebook. Really, though, it’s all about the LOLs, right?

Written by Nissa on December 14, 2011 – 1:53 pm -
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Starbucks’ Magic Cup Brings Back Delight

There’s something about Christmas that makes it special, especially when you’re young. Something often missed in holiday preparations and marketing, something that gets trodden on when Christmas is a matter of annual routine. That something is delight.

Delight is waking up first thing in the morning and emptying out your stocking. It’s the first time you ride with your parents to see a light show at a house in the wealthy part of town. It’s meeting Santa when you’re finally old enough to understand that he’s magical and not just a stranger in a red suit. And it’s almost impossible to recapture once you’re old enough that you’re the one buying the ornaments and filling the stockings.

But Starbucks has managed to capture a glimmer of that delight with its holiday marketing, using technological tricks that seem almost like magic. If you’re a Starbucks fan, take your smartphone and download the “Magic Cup” app. Then point your camera at Starbucks holiday cups, bags of coffee and signage around the shop. Augmented reality is a total gimmick, but the holiday season is gimmicky by nature. That’s no reason to enjoy it.

This video will spoil the fun of discovery, but it’s worth a watch if you want to see what they’ve done. I particularly like the collection aspect of the app — already I’m wondering where to find the other four characters I haven’t seen yet. Sure, the magic cup might be boring and rote by this time next year, but right now I’m completely delighted.

Written by Nissa on November 23, 2011 – 1:38 pm -
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