Puma is the latest brand to try the Augmented Reality revolution. It recently launched its first AR shoe, the LQD Cell Origin Air, which displays unique 2D QR codes where the augmented reality experience begins.

The Puma QR code sneakers serve as the first model of the brand’s LCDCELL Origin AR shoes. It boasts high technology design which the label claims to target not just the wearers’ comfort but also their amusement.

The futuristic shoe is covered entirely with QR codes which unlocks various AR effects. The experience begins by scanning the barcodes with a mobile camera from the LQDCELL app which is already available for download in the App Store and Play Store.

Via the app, the shoe can come to life by adding several filters. It lets the users discover the 3D model of the shoe and take a look at it, part by part. Users can also explore other effects like adding fire to photos and videos of the shoe.

Puma’s LQD Cell Origin Air AR Shoes
Source: Puma

But beyond just viewing the AR effects on individual mobile phone, users can capture images of the experience and share them online with other users.

Another fun integration in the AR shoe is the interactive game. One of the codes will lead users to the augmented reality running game “LQDASH” which can be played in their current environment.

Puma says future LQDCELL models will lead to the arrival of more AR filters and effects other than the game. In fact, rumors have it that the next big thing will turn the shoes invisible.

The LQDCELL Origin AR limited release Puma QR code shoes are available now at Puma’s online store and at select retailers worldwide.

Puma announced the shoe on April 4, noting that the limited edition design will be available at Puma.com and selected retailers only. The brand said about its cutting edge AR shoe:

“LQD CELL Origin AR is PUMA’s answer to a world in which the line between reality and the virtual realm becomes increasingly blurred.”

Puma is the first shoe brand to install AR in the shoe itself through codes. Other labels, though, like Nike, used AR for their customers’ shopping.

In 2018, Nike teased its Air Jordan 11 Concord by using its AR SNKRS app. With the app, users were able to have a virtual look at the shoe by pinning it on their environment. Users were also able to have a peek on how it would look like to walk around with the shoe.

Presently, more AR shoe shopping apps are helping consumers choose the right sneakers without having to go to the mall. “Try On,” “Wanna Kicks,” and “AR Shoe App” are just some of the apps used by shoe labels to level up their customers shopping experience.

Before these and other fashion brands discovered the use of augmented reality, retailers have already long-ago taken advantage of AR to satisfy more customers long-term. 

The Breakthrough of Augmented Reality in Retail

Many have recognized the usefulness of augmented reality in the past few years but projected it to be true in the future. Although many considered the innovation as a far-fetched solution, Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore made AR a reality.

Since there release, these apps paved way to the creation of more AR technologies that wowed the consumers. In fact, 75% of the consumers today are expecting other retailers to use the same app for their convenient shopping.

Leading retailers like the Macy’s and IKEA made headlines in 2017 as they started using AR for home shopping. Although it was a trial run that didn’t have any assurance for success, the IKEA Place App was deemed number 2 best AR app in the App Store in 2018. Reports also showed that the app helped pull more customers to shop at the physical store.

Inter IKEA Systems Leader Digital Transformation Michael Valdsgaard said about the IKEA Place App:

“AR lets us redefine the experience for furniture retail once more, in our restless quest to create a better everyday life for everyone, everywhere.”

AR’s Future In Retail

After IKEA, the world’s leading global research and advisory firm , Gartner Inc., believes more retailers will launch their own AR apps in the coming years in their stint to win back customers through more exciting shopping.

After several successful integration of AR in retail, Gartner realized how the technology can shake up customer experience by letting users visualize products in their own personal spaces. This basically eliminated the need to exchange products for wrong measurements which caused hassles to most customers.

Furthermore, Gartner believes that in 20120,100 million consumers will prefer shopping in AR online shops rather than visiting the store physically.

Gartner Principal Research Analyst Hanna Karki said in a statement:

“Retailers are under increasing pressure to explain the purpose of physical stores, and take control of the fulfillment and return process for cross-channel execution.

…At the same time, consumers are progressively defining the value provided by the experiences they receive from retailers. As a result of these pressures, retailers are turning to AR and VR to offer customers a unified retail experience inside and outside retail stores.”

Following this projection, Gartner’s study found 46% of retailers worldwide are planning to deploy either an AR or VR solution to boost their customer service experience.

Apple ARkit
Source: Apple Developer

Karki continued to say:

“The impact of AR or VR in retail can be transformative. Retailers can use AR as an extension of the brand experience to engage customers in immersive environments and drive revenue.

For example, IKEA’s Place app enables customers to virtually ‘place’ IKEA products in their space. Additionally, AR can be used outside the store after a sale to increase customer satisfaction and improve loyalty.”

Following the brands and retailers resorting to augmented reality as a part of their “effective marketing strategies,” more businesses are putting part of their investments in augmented reality. In fact, Zara, Lancôme, Helzberg Diamonds, and several other brands already announced their intention of building their own AR experience soon. A Helzberg spokesperson told local media:

“The experience uses augmented reality technology through the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 to try on more than 100 ring styles in multiple viewing angles by placing their left hand on a custom designed palm rest with motion-tracking sensor.

We have received extremely positive feedback from customers; we’ve heard it has enhanced their ring-shopping experience.”

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