From a hotly anticipated watch to a high-fashion take on hi-tech catwalks, catch up on the latest innovations in retail and fashion technology.
Apple Debuts Smart Watch
Apple unveiled the first ever Apple Watch Tuesday, its long-awaited foray into wearable technology. The watch—priced at $349 and available early 2015—was introduced alongside two new iPhones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook described the watch as the “most personal device we’ve ever created.”
The watch is a mash up of Apple users favorite features and new technology. The display distinguishes the difference between taps and swipes, while the digital crown on the side of the face allows users to zoom in and out, scroll, or it can be used as the home button. The back of the watch also has sensors that track the wearer’s pulse rate. Apple is expected to add activity and workout apps to enhance its fitness capabilities.
Apple Watch will be available in two different sizes and in three editions: basic made of stainless steel, a sport version with an aluminum casing, and luxury 18-karat gold option.
Ralph Lauren Brings 4D Technology to NYFW
Designer Ralph Lauren staged a 4D holographic catwalk on Monday to present his Spring ’15 women’s Polo collection during New York Fashion Week. The hi-tech runway was projected on a water-screen on the Lake at Central Park, which towered 60 feet over the park and spanned 150 feet wide.
The larger-than-life show blended live-action movement and CG, holograms depicting Manhattan and Brooklyn landmarks and cityscapes and a short film that featured models visiting the streets of a hyper-real New York. Multiple elements of each shot were captured simultaneously to generate the 4D effects. The show concluded with Ralph Lauren digitally walking across the lake.
Ralph Lauren, said, “I really wanted to do something big for the new Polo Women’s brand —something set in the city—that felt modern. We returned to Central Park, a place I love, and captured the spirit of Polo with a truly innovative mix of fashion and technology.”
David Lauren, executive vice president of global advertising, marketing and corporate communications, said, “Ralph Lauren continues to push his company into the future, using technology as a way to keep his brands fresh and innovative and at the cutting edge of modernity.”
The company illustrated that dedication to technology earlier this month when it launched the Polo Tech biosensing shirt at the U.S. Open. It has also been at the forefront of QR technology in Europe and the U.S., touch screen window displays and virtual story books for children.
Twitter Launches “Buy” Button
Twitter users might be limited 140 characters, but when it comes to shopping online, the sky is the limit. The social network announced Monday that it would begin publicly testing a “Buy” button that can be embedded into tweets and allow users to purchase a product with a few clicks. For the time being, the button is being rolled out with a select group of merchants including Burberry and The Home Depot, and only a small percentage of users will see the feature.
Twitter collaborated with Stripe, which enables companies to accept payments online and in mobile apps, to make the purchasing process as simple as possible. After tapping the “Buy” button, the user will get additional product information and be prompted to enter their delivery and payment details. Once the information is entered and confirmed, the order will be sent to the merchant for delivery. Users’ payment and shipping information is encrypted and safely stored, making future transactions swift.
The company has made several attempts in recent years to crack the commerce market. It has worked with Starbucks, American Express and most recently Amazon on campaigns. And in July, Twitter announced it would acquire CardSpring, a payments infrastructure company that links credit card accounts to merchants, and can recognize loyalty programs and coupons when the card is swiped.