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Mountain Hardwear eases customization – with AR

app screenshots

A specialty outdoor equipment brand is enabling customers to virtually build personalized ski kits via a new app feature.

Mountain Hardwear, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Columbia Sportswear, is providing an augmented reality (AR) shopping experience on its consumer app. Customers can start with a ski bib, add a jacket, change colors, and mix and match styles to create their own unique ski kit out of Mountain Hardwear GoreTex materials.

Mountain Hardwear identified three main barriers to making informed purchasing decisions for technical ski apparel: limited time to visit retail stores, product availability in-store, and guesswork of online product images. The company intends for shopping in AR, either in the app or on mobile browser, to remove these challenges. The AR shopping experience showcases high-fidelity representations of the gear, allowing users to zoom in on fabric textures and other finer details that would normally be difficult to view while shopping online.

“AR offers an exciting opportunity, allowing people to virtually explore a product as a part of their shopping experience,” said Snow Burns, Mountain Hardwear VP of marketing. “We are excited to be on the leading edge of developing this new technology and changing the way people shop for their gear. And as mobile AR technology becomes universal, we want to be sure we are meeting consumer demand.”

Mountain Hardwear developed its mobile AR shopping feature in partnership with Transparent House, a creative agency based in San Francisco.

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