Microsoft’s augmented reality headset, the Hololens, has been drawing crowds and commenters alike at this year’s London Fashion Week. Designer Martine Jarlgaard made use of it to show off certain outfits on pre-scanned models, letting fans look at the garments from a variety of angles, whilst also discussing the outfits with the designer.
Virtual reality is a see-it-to-believe-it sort of technology, where it’s very hard to explain its viability and purpose without a test drive, and this is even more true for augmented reality. However, as with VR, once someone dons the headset, the practical uses become immediately apparent. Showing people unique applications is a great way to help them understand the appeal.
It’s a great way to show off clothing, too. As designer and fashion label owner Martine Jarlgaard said of Hololens at the event (via MSPowerUser):
“For me it’s very important there’s a link to reality, that you don’t remove yourself completely. It’s quite a desirable thing — you still have your point of reference, but there’s another layer on top.”
That’s a key benefit of Hololens and other augmented reality hardware: it allows you to continue to see and interact with the real world while wearing it. By comparison, virtual reality leaves users detached from the real world, which is great for immersion, but harder to integrate into an in-person social experience.
Jarlgaard brought a total of five headsets to the London Fashion Week, where they were used to demo many of her new garments on virtual models, but within a real-world space. It made the experience a cooperative one. Attendees also praised the headsets’ ability to give them a really up-close look at clothing that may not be possible at more traditional exhibitions.
To create her showcase, Jarlgaard worked with 3D imaging company DoubleMe. Together they built the small fashion showcase within a specific room-scale space. It seems likely that with the success of this event, such demonstrations will only become more common in the future.