Technology today has changed how we do a large number of things. Think back to just ten years ago, before true smartphones, and the limited capacity our mobile devices had. Remember back when minutes were the big thing that the carriers got you on? Evening and weekend minutes ring any bells? That way of thinking has shifted and now minutes are a non-commodity where data is now king. Our banking has changed, how we find places and get to them. All have come about at an amazing pace. Even shopping has largely changed, with the ability to quickly make a purchase from your smartphone and have it on your doorstep in two days, or the next day if you so desire (and in some markets even the same day!).
One area where technology has not yet made that big of a change is in the ability to try before you buy. This extends to clothing, shoes, eyeglasses and, yes, watches. Brick and mortar stores are the way to try on a piece before you pull the trigger to see how it fits, if you like it, etc… but many of the brands we know and love are simply not available to try on. Well, some companies have been working on changing that through augmented reality – tools that overlay information on top of what one is looking at. Stock Watches is among those working on changing your pre-shopping experience with a new app utilizing augmented reality technology to “try on” a watch.
The Stock Watches app uses your iPhone and a printed template to place any watch from their catalog on your wrist, so to speak. The PDF template is printed out and trimmed to size, then wrapped around one’s wrist. The app then uses the pattern on that template to replace it with the watch of the users choice. As you move your wrist you can see the watch rotate and move on your iPhone screen. This shows a real time representation of the watch design, size, color and strap for the potential purchaser to see. The app was developed by a design and development company called 2pt. and is already an award winning app having won in the shopping division of the Qualcomm Vuforia Vision Awards. The app has a short video that demonstrates it in action.
The Stock app is not the first app to bring the aid of augmented reality shopping to the masses, but it’s certainly at forefront in the watch industry. It’s particularly impressive that a small, independent brand was able to create something so innovative. With large, well-established watch brands still figuring out how to maintain a proper website, let alone an e-shop, this achievement is really put into perspective.
Right now, Stock Watches is running a competition with the app. The terms of the competition are to use the Stock App in “the most creative way” possible, with the chance of winning a Stock watch of your own. One way to get creative is to keep in mind that if the template is printed at actual size (100%) it shows a 100% representation of the watch, but by printing the template at different sizes the watch will scale up. This and the app lets users get creative and play with designs. The contest is currently live, ending December 15th, 2015. All the contest information can be found on the company’s Facebook page and their Instagram.
If you are an iOS user there should be nothing from stopping you to at least check this out. Even if you do not have an interest in the Stock Watches (though they are quite nice) just playing with the app and experiencing how it works is worth the time. The implications of how this app could be used across the industry, but more so for smaller brands who sell direct on-line, are huge. The app is available now on the iOS App Store.