Hands-On: Magic Leap App Obsess Lets You Create a Fashion Store Pop-Up Nearly Anywhere

Magic Leap App Obsess Lets You Create a Fashion Store Pop-Up Nearly Anywhere

The newly enhanced focus from Magic Leap on enterprise, announced on Tuesday, also came with a few companies opting to weigh in with their experiences developing for the platform.

One of those companies is Obsess, an app that allows Magic Leap users to create customized immersive showrooms, giving anyone the ability to create a virtual pop-up shop anywhere the Magic Leap 1 can be used.

"I founded Obsess because I was frustrated with the online shopping experience," said Neha Singh, the founder and CEO of Obsess, in a statement released in conjunction with Magic Leap's enterprise release.

The stock pop-up store that comes with the app. Image by Adario Strange/Next Reality

Although the company's app, which started as a mobile app, is being highlighted this week, the new app has actually been available since at least November as a free download in the Magic Leap World app store, so we took it for a spin.

Image by Adario Strange/Next Reality

First, in order to get the most out of the app, you'll need to find a space that's about the size of a tiny boutique space, say, about 20 feet x 15 feet (the app recommends a minimum of 10 feet x 12 feet). Once you've found your space, the app is incredibly easy set up and use.

Placing mannequins is a simple drag & drop process. Image by Adario Strange/Next Reality

After launch, you're given a virtual shelf full of items to populate your augmented reality pop-up shop. Among those items are life-sized mannequins, display pedestals, accessories, shoes, and full outfits, which you can mix and match.

It's easy to add or remove clothing and move the mannequin for better placement. Images by Adario Strange/Next Reality

As far as I can tell, the mannequins are all shaped to the female form, so the focus appears to be the women's fashion market for now.

You can place the mannequins in any configuration you like and, once placed, you can easily dress them by dragging clothing items off the virtual shelf and onto the mannequins. Once the clothing components are placed, you can also change the colors of the blouses, skirts, and pants to test out various looks.

Virtual pedestals help add realism to the virtual pop-up store. Image by Adario Strange/Next Reality

The app also allows a fashion brand to include the designer name and item price on each piece of clothing, making this a truly viable option for a small or large fashion brand looking to launch a virtual pop-up shop in any city without the cost of installing fixtures or transporting clothing inventory.

Some of the examples included in the stock menu of clothing options in the app are items from brands like Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent (YSL), Balenciaga, and Off-White, indicating that the target for this app is the high-end market rather than budget retailers like Uniqlo or H&M.

The colors of items can be change with a simple click of the Control device. Image by Adario Strange/Next Reality

"The tedious grid-of-thumbnails e-commerce interface has not changed in 25 years when Amazon originally created it to sell books," said Singh.

"Spatial computing has the potential to turn online shopping from scrolling through a database into a sensory and memorable experience – bringing us closer to the brands and products we are considering. We are thrilled to launch our app on Magic Leap 1 -- as our first spatial computing experience to reinvent e-commerce."

Brand names and prices appear when you hover the Control device over an item. Image by Adario Strange/Next Reality

Overall, I found the experience to be relatively close to the kind of real-world pop-up shop experience you get when visiting boutiques in New York City, albeit, in this case, without the ability to try the items on. Is this the future of pop-up shops? It's difficult to tell at this point.

The app is so easy to use that nearly any fashion designer or marketer will have little trouble creating their own virtual pop-up shop in minutes. The only hurdle is getting fashionistas to get over their skepticism regarding spatial computing and getting them to think of it more like an enhanced extension of more familiar AR tools like Instagram and Snapchat.

If that happens, you might start seeing virtual pop-ups, well, "pop up" a lot more often.

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