Gap’s DressingRoom app uses avatars to help people understand how products will fit. People can then buy what fits online.
Gap calls this augmented reality, a technology that involves overlaying virtual images — such as clothing — on top of a real-life image. But in this case, the choices appear limited to five pre-determined body types, rather than the actual photo of the potential buyer.
The app will come out this month, but will work only with a phone sporting Google’s Tango augmented-reality technology — namely Lenovo’s Phab2 Pro Android phone. The clothing chain, which also operates Banana Republic and Old Navy stores, is unveiling the app Wednesday at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas.
Wayfair, Home Depot and other retailers have been embracing virtual reality and augmented reality to help shoppers figure out ways to decorate homes. But clothing retailers have been slow to embrace the technology. The question is whether it will be something more than just a gimmick.
The move by Gap comes as shoppers spend less on clothing and more on experiences like beauty treatments. When customers do buy clothes, they’re increasingly going online. Gap has also been struggling with a lack of compelling clothing, resulting in a long-standing sales slump.—AP