How AR is opening up new perspectives in fashion and beyond
Posted on 2023 Nov,20  | By ArabAd's staff

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Today, augmented reality (AR) has become a mainstream technology for consumers in the region. At the same time, the AR ecosystem of developers and creators is maturing rapidly, with the versatile technology being deployed by brands across various sectors. It is perhaps no surprise that 80% of those in the MENA region now say they are interested in using AR to interact with a product before buying it.

Fashion brands in particular are increasingly appreciating the value AR adds to their campaigns. The technology is unlocking previously unimaginable creative possibilities, helping to make the fashion and beauty industry even more personal, accessible, and convenient.

This was evident at the recent Riyadh Fashion Week when TASAWAR, an avant-garde AR exhibition, showcased just how far the region is pushing the boundaries of fashion and creativity through technology.

Curated by Snapchat in partnership with the Saudi Ministry of Culture and the Fashion Commission, TASAWAR delivered an immersive guest journey featuring designer showrooms, virtual runways, dress try-ons, headpiece selfie lenses, and more.

“AR is impacting every industry, with fashion being at the forefront. It's changing the shopping experience with a focus on the consumer first, resolving many commerce challenges faced today,” says Nay Boustany, EMEA Head of Creative Production at Snap Inc.

A key partner to Snapchat in realizing TASAWAR’s vision was The AR Lab, a Lebanon-based tech and design agency that uses AR to create immersive experiences for some of the most well-known brands in the region. The AR Lab is at the vanguard of regional leaders using 3D modeling and other asset creation technology to create fashion try-ons supported by full-body tracking.

In the case of TASAWAR, The AR Lab’s team deployed segmentation capabilities to convert designed showrooms into interactive fashion art galleries. Additionally, advanced location mapping was implemented, integrating custom landmarking and enriching real-world locations with captivating computer-generated graphics.

Wissam Jomaa, Chief Executive Officer at The AR Lab, notes: TASAWAR embodied a remarkable fusion of creative expression; seamlessly blending technology with human talent and perspective. With the power of AR and harnessing the cutting-edge capabilities of Snapchat as a platform, we are proud to have showcased the future of Saudi fashion to the world.”

Looking at AR technology more broadly, Jomaa adds: “These days, almost all industries and brands are catching on to how AR can benefit their business. AR is proving to be an efficient tool to boost sales and get attention–way better than passive content does. We already see fashion brands allowing their customers to try on their products virtually, car brands using it to display their latest models, and much more. Whether you’re in entertainment, fashion, or something else, brands are now able to leverage AR for crafting more engaging, dynamic, and tailored user experiences that are crucial for standing out in any competitive marketplace.”

The world certainly seems to be embracing AR on Snapchat. Today, over 250 million people use AR on Snapchat, around 6 billion times a day, every day. AR is now transforming the way people are entertained, get their information, and shop. What’s more, a recent Snap survey in the UAE and KSA found that interacting with products that have AR experiences leads to a 94% higher conversion rate.

The world certainly seems to be embracing a more unique way of engagement, especially through AR on Snapchat whether it’s for entertainment or interaction with brands. Usage is over the roof exceeding with more than 250 million users utilizing AR over 6 billion times a day!

“It's not just a fancy add-on anymore. It is a tool that opens new perspectives by allowing us to see the world around us from a different lens,” notes Jomaa.

“Snapchat's global and local partnerships continue to drive our leadership in the AR space”, concludes Boustany. “Through events like TASAWAR, with the help of The AR Lab, we demonstrated regional talent through cutting-edge AR capabilities, and delivered quality experiences and innovation in this dynamic field.”