Augmented Reality T-shirts – anything in it for media recruitment?

Clothing company Zappar takes augmented reality clothing to a whole new level. This year, the company created interactive t-shirts that work with a free app – customers download the app and then view the t-shirts through their device screen. The t-shirt then ‘comes alive’ as the customer touches part of the t-shirt on the screen (see video). What’s really clever about the Zappar t-shirt is that it merges shopping and games in a move to generate interest and push sales. The t-shirts went on sale in the autumn in Macy’s and JCPenney stores in the U.S.

U.S. retailer Moosejaw created an X-Ray App last year that uses a shopper’s camera device to create an ‘X-Ray Vision’ experience, allowing customers to see what underwear models in their catalogue are wearing underneath their clothes. The app had seventy-five thousand downloads in five weeks, one million Twitter impressions and 160,000 video views. The application contributed to a 37% boost in sales for Moosejaw compared with the same period a year earlier.

Judging by the success Moosejaw has had in the U.S., we can see how developing a fun, interactive and unique shopping experience can boost a retailer’s marketing efforts, increasing customer reach and sales. While Moosejaw’s concept smacks of gimmickry, it might just be a trend that has some legs (naked ones of course). It’ll be interesting to see which technologies will be the talk of the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show in January…. and what the fallout is for media recruiting.