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Brief Published: 11 Jan 2022

Nike Taps Outdoors Boom with In-Store XR Weather Simulator

Tapping into the pandemic-spurred outdoor activities boom, Nike is taking extreme-conditions product testing in-store with a multisensory, extended reality (XR) weather simulator to launch its Fit ADV clothing range. Based at its House of Innovation concept store in Paris, the simulator evolves previous retail concepts designed to let consumers test their edge.

Weather simulators aren’t new to sports retail – in 2016, UK cycle brand Rapha launched a climate-controlled room with 50kph winds and temperatures as low as -30°C (see Competence Commerce: Beyond the Comfort Zone in The Supportive Sell). But Nike’s iteration ups the immersion thanks to XR, wraparound floor-to-ceiling visuals, and consumers’ ability to take home a recording of their experience.

Upon arrival, visitors see three plexiglass ‘weather chambers’, each containing a Fit ADV garment. Scanning a QR code on the chamber launches an augmented reality (AR) experience (viewable on smartphones) which reveals the product details and cutting-edge design technologies and processes behind each one.

After learning about the garments, those who’ve pre-booked a slot (via the Nike website) enter a simulator to test them for themselves. Shoppers can choose from three clothing options: Dri-Fit ADV, which protects against the heat; Therma-Fit ADV, which keeps the wearer warm; or Storm-Fit ADV, which shields them from wet and windy conditions.

Once inside, a giant curved screen displays the corresponding environment – an arid desert, snow-capped mountains or rainy plains. Visuals are accompanied by dramatic natural soundscapes and sensations such as a blast of hot air, or an icy squall.

Giving shoppers a take-home experience, a camera sitting on a robotic arm follows visitors as they move around the simulator, recording the entire experience. Consumers can receive their recordings by scanning another QR code. All products can be shopped in-store, and the experience is open until February 6.

For more, see Harnessing the Outdoor Opportunity and Retail: AR Added Value.