Carlings' new offering takes augmented reality to a new level. Source: Shutterstock

Carlings’ new offering takes augmented reality to a new level. Source: Shutterstock

Carlings works with Instagram to create augmented-reality-styled clothing

SCANDINAVIAN retailer Carlings has just launched a new collection called ‘Last Statement’ — the product is a white tee-shirt with a simple logo that can be brought to life using augmented reality (AR) filters on Instagram.

The tee-shirts are priced at EUR 40 (US$44.2), shipped globally, and all profits are intended to go to ‘WaterAid’.

Made of sustainably produced BCI-certified cotton, the AR filters and messaging that the tee-shirt producer Carlings currently offers revolves around saving the planet from global warming.

While new AR filters are constantly being developed — and Carlings has 10 more in the pipeline — customers cannot themselves create their own for now.

The AR filters are developed in partnership with Facebook through its exclusive AR Spark kit. This means that the experience is only available on Instagram, giving the app a winning edge over Snapchat and up-and-coming TikTok.

“While this is new to Instagram, marker-based AR effects have been around for some time,” London College of Fashion Fashion Innovation Agency Head Matthew Drinkwater told Vogue Business.

“It is yet another indication, though, of the potential of augmented reality to lead us to a new type of garment — one that is enhanced by computer graphics. We are entering an era where a ‘wardrobe update‘ takes on an entirely new meaning.”

At a time when Instagram seems to be losing ground to competitors such as TikTok and Snapchat, new and exciting use cases such as the one involving Carlings can definitely help boost the platform’s image and keep it fresh, relevant, and exciting.

For marketers and business owners, of course, this is yet another indication of how brands can leverage augmented reality technology to engage with audiences and create exciting opportunities to boost brand image and promote brand recall.

Recently, IDC forecasted that worldwide spending on augmented reality and virtual reality will reach US$18.8 billion in 2020, an increase of 78.5 percent over the US$10.5 billion to be spent this year — clearly indicating the spike in interest in the technology to fuel business growth and create new opportunities.

Of the total spend, the largest chunk is expected to come from use cases in the retail industry, totaling US$1.5 billion.

In the coming months, businesses that use the technology and think outside the box to create exciting solutions will definitely have an opportunity to delight customers and win a larger share of the market.