Case Study:

AR Yacht: Blohm + Voss Retail Experience at Selfridges


Selfridges’ Creative Director Alannah Weston conceived the idea of the ‘Festival of Imagination’: three months of events, lectures, installations and showcases in Selfridges stores nationwide intending to give customers an insight into shopping experiences of the future.

Quick Facts

  • Who: Selfridges / Blohm + Voss
  • What: Interactive augmented reality retail experience
  • Where: In-store installation, London
  • Tech: AR app, iPad, printed marker


INITION were approached by Selfridges to showcase the exciting possibilities cutting-edge technology can present within the retail sector. Using augmented reality (AR) as our platform of choice, we brought the new luxury, Zaha Hadid-designed £300 million superyacht to the store as an AR yacht.


Given its size and the fact the yacht had yet to become a physical reality, AR was the only way Selfridges would be able to display the yacht in-store for customers to inspect.

In addition to showing off the exemplary design of the yacht itself, the experience really allowed the technology to shine –  “This installation served a real business purpose: Selfridges actually had the yacht up for sale, making it the most expensive single item they have ever attempted to sell” said INITION producer Ainsley Henn.

Following the launch of the in-store experience, yacht manufacturers Blohm + Voss agreed to send a Sales Representative across to London should the display pique the interest of any serious buyers.

  • augmented reality AR yacht ipad app selfridges
  • augmented reality AR yacht ipad app selfridges


The AR installation was exhibited in the store in January of this year for a three-month run. The event generated significant interest from both, the public and press, due largely to the fact that it allowed guests the opportunity to get up close and personal with an impressive piece of architectural machinery not usually exhibited within a department store.

Patrick Coote, Sales and Markeing Director of Blohm + Voss Shipyards gmbH said:

“Superyachts are not something that you can carry in your briefcase and take to meetings, events or client presentations. Even models can be cumbersome and awkward to transport. Augmented reality allows us to give potential clients a 3D view, wherever they happen to be, in an office, exhibition, meeting or boat show.”

After the Festival of Imagination ends, Blohm + Voss will take a more portable version of the application to potential customers at meetings and boat shows.

Dezeen covered the AR yacht for Selfridges online.