INITION was approached by Portas Agency to produce a forward-thinking virtual reality experience to promote the launch of Westfield’s Future Fashion event – two weekends featuring cutting-edge technology combined with the upcoming season’s hottest trends: floral, denim and future modern.
- Who: Portas Agency for Westfield UK
- What: An interactive installation using VR and motion tracking to explore this season’s best trends
- Where: Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City
- When: 27th – 29th March, 2nd – 4th April 2015
- Tech: Oculus Rift, Leap Motion, large-screen video wall, Kinect2
// Virtual Reality
With a brief to create an immersive, interactive digital installation that would enable shoppers to experience the new season’s trends like never before, we settled on virtual reality as the platform upon which to provide a unique, one-off taste of what might lie in the future for fashion retail.
Using Oculus Rift DK2 head-mounted displays and Leap Motion gesture tracking technology, we developed an experience which enabled guests to enter one of three virtual, futuristic landscapes where, using specific gestures, they could explore the concepts of the trends and ‘fly’. To fully explore a trend, users adapted a ‘superman pose’ (i.e. hand outstretched in front) so they could navigate around the environment, whilst clapping transitioned the experience onto the next seasonal trend. With a high level of freedom to explore the virtual space, guests are treated to a unique conceptual journey each time.
// Motion Capture + Video Wall
As part of Westfield’s Future Fashion event, we were tasked with creating a second experience that would require a high level of participation from visitors, whilst highlighting the three key trends – floral, denim and future modern.
Opting to utilise a motion capture system and a seriously large 5m video wall, we created an experience which, using Kinect2 depth sensors and skeletal tracking, would track the movement of 4-6 guests and prompt an animated avatar in their shape to appear. As guests moved and jumped around in front of the wall, visual ‘trails’ relating to each season’s trends would be elicited – glowing lines for ‘future modern’, woven threads for ‘denim’ and garlands of spring buds and descending petals for ‘floral’. A series of simple gestures, such as jumping or clapping, resulted in an associated response: denim rivets bouncing along the bottom of the video wall, floral petals floating down from the ceiling.
The combination of Oculus Rift and Leap Motion systems was the first time such technologies had been used together publicly within a retail deployment and pushed the limits of what we’ve previously presented to the public.
The video wall experience garnered over 20,000 interactions from the public over the two weekends, whilst the VR experience attracted over 7,000 participants, one of the largest and most impressive virtual reality deployments to date.
Much of the content users saw and interacted with was procedurally generated in response to their body movements, this allowed infinite variations. The core of both experiences were developed in Unity building on INITION’s in-house experience creating engaging, interactive experiences.
“Over the course of a few weeks we worked with Westfield to create two digital retail experiences. The reactions from visitors were really pleasing, with both experiences having captured the interest of individuals of all ages. It’s really great to be able to interact with the content – we mostly consume content passively by simply watching – but when you’re able to interact, as with virtual reality, it’s so much more meaningful.” – Stuart Cupit, Technical Director, INITION
“Westfield always tries to push the boundaries of fashion and technology and take our shoppers on an incredible virtual journey. Working with INITION, we created a virtual reality live experience in centre” – Myf Ryan, Westfield.