VIRTUES OF VISUAL MAGIC

This week’s [retail bytes] explores all things 3D (from selfies, to cameras and printing) as well as other magical visual tricks.

 Mission:Impeccable Gangsters, moles and agents show us how it’s done as Guy Ritchie helms the new Ted Baker video, drawing from his cult hit Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Ted’s autumn collection is a delight for lovers of the East London underworld – the interactive video format invites fans to click on their favourite fashion pieces and shop right there. Moody shots and snarky camera angles refer to Ritchie’s 90s crime comedy, setting up the visual tone for the autumn shows. Love it.

But first, let me take a 3D selfie: Snapchat is exploring 3d selfies with the acquisition of Seene, a computer vision start-up. The privacy-friendly social network is preparing a venture into virtual reality and found that 3D facial capture, 3D scene reconstruction and augmented reality tools came with the acquisition, giving Snapchat more visual chops. Will it all fit on an app? Exciting times.

Instagrammers have never looked better: Apple has also kept its focus on visual advancement. Depth of Field, the new camera feature that will make your photos look a lot better, has been announced, and is releasing later in the autumn. Dual cameras will make Instagram users even more trigger-happy. The real beneficiaries will be data storage sellers, as the new avalanche of photos will have to be backed up on a big server.

Point, click… & collect: Google is investing in AI for visual searches, with the purchase of French start-up Moodstocks. The company is a leader in visual search innovation, next to UK-based Blippar and Cortexica. As visual search is growing in importance in fashion and footwear, customers will soon want to point and click at a passerby’s dress to see if similar can be found at an online retailer.

Back to School just got 3D exciting: Last but not least, Back to School is upon us so Wacom is bringing out the necessary must-have items for the new school year. Can you design your own jewellery and cartoon characters? Wacom’s pen tablet Intuos is here to help – it’s a new drawing pen for 3D printing. The pen, tablet and software kit can bring the magic of self-expression a touch closer for the non-experts. In collaboration with Shapeways and Pixologic, the Japanese company is looking to reach the inner Manga creator in each of us to make 3D printing possible. Copyright issues may arise, but Ikea has shown us that people like making their own things, so Wacom is definitely on to something.