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Published: 16 Oct 2015

Holo-Window Promotes Wearable Tech

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Ralph Lauren x Cinimod Studio

To generate a buzz around its new tech-enhanced Polo Sport collection, luxury US brand Ralph Lauren collaborated with British creative technologists Cinimod Studio (see our profile Architectural Illusionists). The resulting holographic window display in the brand's NYC flagship tapped into the interest in wearable tech and the impending Internet of Things (IoT) - connected devices that are able to communicate with each other, a sector predicted to grow to $1.7tn in 2020 from $655.8bn in 2014, according to US market research firm IDC.

The installation displayed five life-sized athletes partaking in exercises such as boxing or jumping rope while wearing the new PoloTech shirt. The Bluetooth-connected garment reads the wearer's heart rate, breathing depth and balance; this data is then transferred directly to the consumer's smartphone via the PoloTech app.

Passers-by were encouraged to see the clothing up close from many angles by interacting with digital screens placed in the window display, active 24/7. According to Dominic Harris, founder of Cinimod Studio, the holographic technology was essential in making the compact display seem bigger – deceiving viewers into thinking the 1m-deep window stretched 5-6m back – and spurring deeper engagement.

The installation follows in the footsteps of a number of Ralph Lauren's tech-enhanced projects, including 24/7 Retail: Interactive Father's Day Windows, and a holographic fashion show in New York's Central Park in 2014 (see Fashion Week S/S 15: Social Media & Tech for more).

For more examples of retailers using tech to engage consumers beyond standard opening hours, see Out-of-Hours Shopping, Kate Spade's Digital Hoarding and Start-Pause-Go: Retail in Hyper-Flow, part of our Roaming Retail Industry Trend. See also Animated Realities Reboot Surprise & Delight in Enhanced Retail Realities, part of the Post-Digital Macro Trend.

For more on wearable tech, see Lyle & Scott's Wearable Payments and Tech's Fashionable Tipping Point.

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