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Apple’s Augmented Reality Headset: Unveiling Fashion's Digital Evolution

by Sophia Kootval

In the ever-evolving landscape of the digital age, what once seemed like far-fetched technological possibilities have seamlessly transitioned into the norms of today. 

Among these groundbreaking innovations stands augmented reality - a concept that has rapidly evolved and transformed into a dynamic force across various sectors.

Leading this transformative charge is the fashion industry, renowned for its creativity and innovation. 

Ranging from fast fashion retailers to haute couture shows, fashion brands worldwide are embracing augmented reality's potential to craft experiences that transcend the conventional.

In a world where the use of AI has quickly become normalised and there’s an ever-expanding Metaverse, the latest revelation takes center stage: Apple Vision Pro.

Set for an early 2024 launch, the Apple Vision Pro is an augmented reality headset that has spent over a decade in development. 

Combining this product launch with the fashion industry, we can expect novelty fashion shows, innovative use of e-commerce, and an overall enhanced customer experience bridging the gap between physical and digital retail. 

Apple already boasts the world's largest AR platform, complemented by a diverse range of AR-enabled devices, including iPhones, iPads, and iPods. By introducing the Apple Vision Pro, Apple is poised to revolutionise our day-to-day encounter with fashion.

As the concept of augmented reality becomes more accessible, events such as Metaverse Fashion Week, which is already on the rise since it’s inception on Decentraland in March 2022, will ascend to even greater heights of popularity.

Recent history stands as a testament to augmented reality's creative potential. 

Luxury fashion house Burberry, for instance, adorned its iconic Lola bag with an augmented reality feature on its website in 2022. Customers could use their smartphones to visualize the signature bag within their immediate surroundings, ushering in a new era of interactive online shopping.

In 2020, the FIA (London College of Fashion’s Innovation Agency) collaborated with the augmented reality app HoloMe to unveil collections from graduates of the London College of Fashion. This innovative approach allowed audiences worldwide to witness real-time runway moments against the backdrop of their own environments, aligning seamlessly with the goal to promote sustainability and inclusivity in fashion.

Since the Covid pandemic meant Fashion Week was forced to move online, we have continued to see Digital event programs which can only be furthered by this advancement. Exhibitions like LAUGESEN X METASENS TRILOGY 02 during February’s London Fashion Week demonstrated the power of the digital age to redefine traditional concepts.

In the world of fashion, this is an era of experimentation offers boundless opportunities for fashion designers and creative directors alike. 

Yet, as we look to the future of augmented reality, questions arise.

Much like the evolution of social media, which initially promised connection and knowledge but has evolved into a constant presence in our lives, we ponder the potential trajectory of augmented reality. Could it also spiral into a realm of excess? You can’t help but think back to 2016’s Black Mirror episode, Playtest. 

Certainly, augmented reality has the power to heighten customer engagement and forge deeper brand connections. Still, it's worth considering whether there exists a line beyond which augmented reality supplants the physical, diminishing the allure of in-person fashion showcases and the thrill of shopping.

The marriage of augmented reality and fashion holds promise, yet remains shrouded in uncertainty. The uncharted territory beckons with the potential for both brilliance and excess, sparking anticipation for an avant-garde integration that will shape the future of fashion.

Edited by Emily Duff

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