This month, Mountain Hardwear (MHW) launches an augmented reality shopping app, featuring its completely redesigned equipment line.
Leading up to this launch, MHW identified several obstacles when shopping for technical gear that could be alleviated by the use of Augmented Reality: limited time to visit retail stores, difficulty of in-store setup, store availability, and guesswork of online assets.
“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.”
And while many have been quick to jump on the AR bandwagon, these apps commonly have confusing user interfaces and low-quality imagery. MHW sought to execute solutions 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.
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 use real-time lighting and shadows only when necessary and employ rigorous quality control to maintain consistency across all imagery,” Scott Van Woert adds. “The result is an app that is as enjoyable to look at as it is intuitive to use.”
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.”
Download the fully functional app and start experiencing augmented reality outfitting by visiting www.mountainhardwear.com/ar.
MHW will continue to roll out additional assets to expand its virtual gear closet. Users can expect to see the addition of technical apparel such as their GORE-TEX snow sports collection—a partnership that puts MHW first to develop a user-friendly AR experience for outerwear—and a special application in retail environments.
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.