One of the most interesting touch points between technologies and the retail world is the creation of a new shopping experience for consumers. We recently learned about NeXR Technologies, a German company that has developed a very sophisticated virtual fitting room for H&M that, thanks to a system of sensors, recreates a very precise avatar of the person, who will then “try on” the garment by checking its measurements and fit. Contrary to what one might think, this is a useful technology not only for e-commerce, but also for physical stores, which suffer competition from the potentially infinite assortment available online, and the convenience of doing everything from home.
There are even those who consider the virtual fitting room the future of shopping, in the meantime we asked Markus Peuler, CEO of NeXR Technologies, to tell us about working for H&M and his start-up
– Can you tell us about your work for H&M?
NeXR’s project with H&M involves the development of a proprietary body scanner that allows customers to create a virtual avatar of themselves according to actual body measurements, which can then be transferred to the AvatarCloud app. In the app, customers can try on full-size clothes with just a few clicks, and their body measurements are stored to determine correct sizes. Customers can also save the clothes for later and share the virtually tried-on clothes with their friends via social media.
The virtual trial was tested in two H&M flagship stores in Berlin and Hamburg, and the initial results were very promising. According to a customer survey, nearly 60 percent found the virtual fitting helpful in finding the right size of clothes. In addition, 92% of users confirmed that the service helped them determine whether they liked the clothes they chose. Most customers (64%) believe that the virtual fitting room is the future of shopping.
This project helps H&M reduce costly and environmentally harmful returns, which are currently the main cost factor for many textile companies. It also addresses the challenge of fashion brands with a large network of physical stores, which are struggling with declining visitor numbers, partly due to customers’ shift to e-commerce and the disadvantage of having a limited variety of products compared to online stores. Using innovative technologies, NeXR is helping H&M improve the customer experience and take countermeasures against these challenges. NeXR’s body scanners will be installed next summer in H&M Thailand stores.
Who is NeXR Technologies? What is its activity, mission, and explanation of its name?
We are a Berlin-based technology company, providing digital solutions in the physical world through cutting-edge XR interactive technologies and life-simulating avatars. The company’s mission is to enable its customers to take advantage of these digital solutions and generate new business value, sustainability and interconnectivity.
NeXR wants to create a world where everyone can have their own avatar to enhance their daily lives and connect the real and digital worlds. The company uses high-fidelity body scanners, motion tracking studios, and an experienced team of operators, designers, and developers.
How is the company organized and who are your customers?
We operate in the fields of virtual reality, augmented reality, and motion capture. The company is structured into three separate departments that focus on different aspects of the field. The first department is responsible for motion capture and building digital worlds and has a MoCap Studio in Berlin, known as OnPoint Studio. The second department is responsible for the application of body scanning technologies and avatar creation, while the third focuses on the development and implementation of XR experiences, event innovation, and the interconnection of NeXR technologies.
NeXR specializes in creating high-quality digital human beings for a multitude of industries. These avatars can be used in virtual environments created by NeXR’s development department; the environments can be integrated into all platforms, including live-stream, browser-based applications, and XR.
In addition to creating avatars and virtual environments, NeXR’s motion capture and virtual production studio in Berlin also provides high-quality animations while maintaining a responsive and fluid experience for clients, including a wide range of versatile solutions to effectively create professional content, such as green screen, motion capture, LED wall, game engine programming, and more.
What is your plan for the coming months?
We plan to launch avatars for various applications including fashion, games and entertainment formats. We support our clients in creating avatars as digital assets for branding and brand storytelling; with expertise in motion capture, digital world-building and XR experiences, we aspire to become a leader in avatar creation, in various industries, offering unique and compelling solutions to its clients.
This year, NeXR Technologies is also working to inform the market about the benefits of XR technologies, in areas such as sustainability, connectivity and creative expression. The company believes these technologies can help overcome physical obstacles and enable individuals to connect the real and digital worlds in new and innovative ways.
As part of this effort, NeXR is laying the groundwork for what it calls A-Commerce, an economic model in which everyone can have their own avatar to transact, play games, make virtual purchases, and improve their daily lives. With its advanced technology, including high-fidelity body scanners, a state-of-the-art motion tracking studio, and a team of highly experienced operators, designers, and developers, NeXR enables consumers to get their own digital twin and create ecosystems in which the avatar can be used to innovate real-world experiences.