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Brief Published: 6 Sep 2021

Yahoo Kicks Off NYFW with WebAR Hologram Activation

Yahoo Ryot Lab x Christian Cowan

Yahoo Ryot Lab, the experimental content studio of US media giant Yahoo, has kicked off its second season as the official innovation partner of New York Fashion Week (NYFW) with its latest concept seeking to democratise access to catwalk shows. Here, a three-part (transmedia) web-based augmented reality (WebAR) activation virtually propels British designer Christian Cowan into his fans’ home.

Underpinning the concept is a highly realistic hologram of Cowan, constructed via 100+ volumetric capture cameras, rendering him in sufficient detail for a 360° view in AR (on a mobile device).

Part one, for building pre-event buzz, centres on the invitation to Cowan’s Spring/Summer 2022 show (September 10 2021). By scanning a QR code on his website, an e-invite, or social media promos, a weblink surfaces Cowan’s digital double in one tap. The context-aware AR scales him to fit the users’ surroundings, before delivering a personal invitation to the show. *Presently, the talk track isn’t personalised for individual users.

Part two, for the show itself, is still under wraps, bar Yahoo Ryot Lab’s head of content Nigel Tierney teasing: “We’ll be offering guests a special easter egg [an unexpected in-game bonus feature], transforming parts of Christian’s collection from a physical to a digital experience.”

Part three, for spring 2022, involves a code embedded in the physical tags of the collection itself that will unleash another Cowan clone to regale fans with details regarding its inspirations and production.  

Unlike many of its holographic predecessors – particularly those seeking to broadcast people into fans’/consumers’ homes (see Retail’s New Servicescapes for more) – the WebAR format means there’s no requirement to download an app because the volumetric capture ensures a three-dimensional visual.

For more on WebAR, see Retail: AR Added Value.

*For detailed predictions on the future and value of hologram-based content, see our director of brand engagement Katie Baron’s exclusive interview with Nigel Tierney here.