Fans who attended the physical event at the OREFICI11 store in Milan were able to view an AR version of each boot by scanning a QR code. “It’s really a matter of going back and forth between the physical and the virtual and creating those strong ties between the two worlds,” says Bellali.
The AR component of the experience was powered by the Sketchfab platform, part of the Epic Games ecosystem of technology that enables you to distribute 3D and AR experiences. “What’s great about Sketchfab is that it makes 3D content accessible to anyone in a browser or a mobile device using QR codes and AR,” says Bellali.
For brands interested in capitalizing on the opportunities of the metaverse, this is an eye-opening example of how they can leverage the full suite of Epic tools and libraries including Unreal Engine, Twinmotion, Quixel Megascans, and Sketchfab to plan out their entire story from beginning to end—from R&D, prototyping, and design, all the way through to production and promotion, unlocking new ways to connect with customers.
Brands in the metaverse
The metaverse and real-time technology could hold the key to easing some of the pressures the fashion industry has been facing for some time.
Real-time 3D technology can help streamline design, manufacturing, and merchandising processes, with the goal of reducing physical samples, increasing sustainability, and decreasing returns—as well as shifting to on-demand production over time.
With consumers set to spend more and more time in virtual worlds and experiences, it makes sense that brands should have a presence in those places, too.
Timberland’s Chief Marketing Officer Drieke Leenknegt says this last point has particular resonance for the company. “The consumer today doesn’t draw a distinction between physical or virtual platforms,” she explains. “They live in the physical world. They live on social platforms and in the metaverse. And for them, it’s one journey. So for brands like Timberland, if we want to engage with our consumers, we need to go where they are and be present with them in that entire journey.”
With this blurring of the lines between physical and digital worlds, Leenknegt predicts that consumers’ first experience with a product will often be in the digital world—and that this will then lead to sales in the real world.
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