Asos is diving deeper into the world of augmented reality (AR) technology as it works to “simulate real-life model photography in response to the Covid-19 pandemic”.
Crises are often catalysts for wider adoption of new ideas and technology and this crisis is proving no different. Asos is using tech developed by Israeli AR and AI firm Zeekit that it tested at the start of the year via its See My Fit service.
Now it will be offering customers a “simulated view of up to 500 products each week on six real-life models”. By digitally mapping each product onto the model “in a realistic way, taking account of the size, cut and fit of each garment, the technology ensures product presentation remains as realistic and engaging as possible while supporting social distancing by removing the need for models to enter the Asos Studios,” it said.
Model photography has always been a major part of the Asos daily workload. And as a journalist who once worked for a company on the floor below Asos’s London HQ, the stream of models entering the building highlighted just how many stills and videos an e-tailer selling tens of thousands of items has to shoot.
The company said the new move “follows a range of Aso's initiatives designed to protect model and staff wellbeing, including asking models and Asos Insiders to shoot products from home, and using more ‘flat shot’ images where items are photographed on a hanger rather than on a model”.
Tim Carey, Senior Content Manager at Asos Studios, said: “We’re fortunate enough to have been experimenting with Zeekit’s AR technology for a while, which has meant that we could scale this tech up at short notice. It’s a great tool for us to have at our disposal, helping us drop new items on-site each week and provide customers with realistic product images in a studio setting while protecting the wellbeing of our models and staff.”