Virtual Wardrobe - How I helped Flipkart create social-media buzz using Interactive digital installation
Flipkart, India's largest homegrown e-commerce brand (now part of Wallmart Group) while launching their exclusive fashion arm, wanted a unique way to attract young demographics to their brand. As a company that uses data analytics and other latest tech to differentiate themselves in the e-commerce race, they wanted to set a similar image in the fashion space too. Thus came the idea of designing interactive installations to engage with the audience in a more immersive way than conventional brand activations.
My role in the project: I was leading this project with a small team of fabricators and brand consultants. I handled Design direction, Concept development, Creative coding, and Modularisation of the installation that successfully toured 18 cities in India.
The client and the creative agency settled on the idea of creating a digital experience in which
• the users can interact with the latest fashion collections of the brand virtually.
• They can effortlessly browse through the clothing collection
• And try them on virtually, digitizing the experience of a trial room in a showroom
• All engagements to be published in social media in real-time
What were the Challenges?
The primary challenges were:
• to design an interactive installation that can be dismantled and ported across cities.
• The hardware and software have to be robust enough to run with minimal or no errors for long hours typically in trade shows or event venues.
• It should be easy to set up by a semi-skilled person at the site.
• From the user experience point of view, the installation should pick up the latest collection of clothes every time.
• Lastly, the central marketing team should have access to all user-generated content for promoting the event in real-time in social media.
Creative coding challenge: At the time of this project, depth-sensing cameras were very few and Microsoft Kinect was the prominent hardware available. But Kinect showed many stability issues during prolonged use. So after much deliberation, I chose the humble webcam to perform gesture recognition. Webcams are not designed for gesture recognition or sharp object detection. But I thought it is a decent balance between stability and accuracy and with some usability nudges, we can create a pretty decent gesture controller from a simple webcam.
Launched in Myntra Fashion Week in Mumbai. The installation became the key attraction of Fashion Week. The participants get to post their virtual wardrobe selections in facebook resulting in 2800+ selfies posted in a 3-day event, raising the brand's awareness and recall among the target segment.
Client: Flipkart Pvt Ltd
Creative Agency: Crossworks & WPP India
Keywords: Gesture controlled interface, Experience Design, Creative Coding