RICHMOND, CA (January 31st, 2019)
– Mountain Hardwear under parent company Columbia Sportswear Company (Nasdaq: COLM) announces its development of an augmented reality-based solution.
This month at the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show, Mountain Hardwear will debut the first look of its products in augmented reality. The initiative features equipment and technical apparel such as its GORE-TEX outerwear collection—a partnership that puts MHW first to develop a user-friendly AR experience for outerwear.
In developing this technology, MHW identified several obstacles in the buying experience that they believe keep consumers from getting outside: limited time to spend in retail stores, difficulty of in-store setup, store availability, and guesswork of online assets. Augmented reality alleviates these problems.
While many have been quick to jump on the AR bandwagon, these apps commonly have confusing user interfaces and low-quality imagery. MHW sought after a thoughtfully applied solution with the highest level of visual fidelity.
With the help of Transparent House, a creative agency based in San Francisco, California, AR renders of MHW’s products feel as if they’re right in front of you. “We believe technology is something that should be thoughtfully applied, not used because it is trendy,” says David Scott Van Woert, Director of Business Development at Transparent House. “The result is an app that is as enjoyable to look at as it is intuitive to use. But more importantly, it is an app that makes sense.”
These renderings are not only indistinguishable from photography, they enable users to easily toggle between environments and features, making it more lifelike than ever. “We believe the ability to superimpose digital products and information on a user’s actual environment will change retail,” says Snow Burns, VP of Global Marketing. “We don’t see technology as contrary to getting outside, we see it as an opportunity to enhance the experience.”
This optimization of photorealistic visualization is especially critical for consumers in the technical products market. “We have a finite amount of time in our busy days. And as climbers, we’d rather spend those waking moments enjoying what we love,” Jeff Brandon, Associate Director of Brand Deployment, explains. “This technology enables a more informed gear-shopping experience in a fraction of the time.”
MHW will continue to roll out additional assets to expand its virtual gear closet. Retailers and consumers can expect to download a fully-functional app later this year.
About Mountain Hardwear
Mountain Hardwear, Inc., founded in 1993 and based in Richmond, CA, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Columbia Sportswear Company that distributes its products through specialty outdoor retailers in the United States and 34 countries worldwide. We build essential equipment for climbers, mountaineers, and outdoor athletes and have supported expeditions on the world’s highest peaks. This level of technical precision continues to inspire everything we do. Our designers challenge every stitch and detail to continuously improve both function and comfort. www.mountainhardwear.com
For more information please contact:
Lina Adams, MHW PR at Ladams@mountainhardwear.com
or cell 510-558-2996