After a series of successful digital events in 2020, creative innovations studio Holition and INTERLACED joined forces for a second year for a number of webinars that explore the future of human interaction, retail and luxury.
Our first event gathered industry experts from the world of technology, interaction design and digital fashion to discuss the Internet of Senses. As Ericsson’s Hot Consumer Trends for 2030 research suggests, the vision for Internet of Senses is not only based on expected technological advances, but also on consumer research: urban early adopters expect that we will be using all of our senses online by 2030. Of those, 68 percent want to use at least 1 of 6 conceptual internet of senses applications we have asked about, and 81 percent are open to the idea overall.
Below, we have collected the key takeaways from our sold out event.
On... the type of tech that will make most impact on consumers
“We have seen a massive acceleration in virtual, augmented and especially mixed reality experiences. Adoption of devices like AR glasses has skyrocketed [since the pandemic began]. People didn’t really need it two years ago but now we do really need it if we want to connect in a way that is a bit more immersive. And then of course, I'm all about touch interfaces. So definitely, for me, the sense of touch is something that will be increasingly important, especially now that we are so deprived of it, and we cannot hug our friends or see them in person.” - Francesca Rosella, Creative Director, CuteCircuit
“What we're working on with the current devices and these types of interfaces that we have in front of us. One of the things that Marjorie and I constantly kind of evangelise and fight a kind of battle against is the notion that digital isn't real, and that a digital garment can give you a similar type of endorphin or kind of like if you were in a physical store. So I guess that's one of the things that we stay up very late at night trying to think about: How can we use exactly what we've got? One of the other missions of the Dematerialised is, we want to enable digital fashion to be discovered, experienced and treated by anybody as long as you have a mobile phone and an internet connection.” - Marjorie Hernandez de Vogelsteller, Co-founder, The Dematerialised
On.. creating engaging experiences at home
“There are these four walls and they are our worlds at the moment where we're dreaming about what happens kind of like outside and remembering when we used to dance and kiss and sing and jump and shop. So and I think one of the ways that we've tried to tackle that was the Dematerialised is initially inviting people into a 3D environment that, for example, in Dematerialised, doesn't look like a traditional like it doesn't have walls, well, we've got walls, but the move, it doesn't have a floor, it doesn't have a ceiling. Because again, when we did a competitor analysis of what other people are doing, we didn't want to just replicate a traditional store environment, although that is what is familiar with people.
And then we also wanted to take the digital experience into the consumers’ world. So it was very important for us to have an augmented reality experience, pre purchase. You can basically take the 3d digital garment into your environment, look underneath it, around it, you can’t try on at that point because that's the thing that we kind of want people to encourage them to do post purchase.” - Karinna Nobbs, Co-founder, The Dematerialised
“As our devices become more powerful, as the internet connection becomes faster, we can start exploring how we go deeper into the two dimensional space and start incorporating more data and storytelling in the interfaces. They don't have to be as plain and simple as the grid that we know from eBay, Amazon, etc. That was part of solving a problem and a specific point in time, but we are now 20 years later.
I think there's a huge economical power for brands to translate those stories that they tell in physical spaces into digital ones. Right now, your consumers don't necessarily feel as comfortable going into certain places to experience things. They want to keep in the safety of their homes. So I think it's just about making those experiences super rich, and drawing analogies from cinema, from music from theater. These transformations have happened before, this is not something new. This is part of a natural evolution that we see across different industries and mediums of consumption.” - Dr. Pernilla Jonsson, Head of Consumer & IndustryLab, Ericsson Research
“Everything we do is about experiences. Everything that we design is about bringing people together. And how we've been doing it pre-pandemic was that we would have like this massive rock concert, and then have people wear some of the haptic garments we made, and if they were deaf they could feel these enhanced sensation during this concert. Of course, now people cannot even go to a stadium and enjoy a concert together. What are we with this shared experience? So one of the things that gets very interesting is the bandwidth for these shared experiences. How could you have 10,000 people in their houses all enjoying a Lady Gaga concert? And could they feel it? Or could they all be playing the same video game? - Francesca Rosella, Creative Director, CuteCircuit
CuteCircuit's Sound Shirt allows the wearer to feel music, thanks to haptic feedback
On.. the merge of our digital and physical worlds
“Think about things like movies. When people say “digital isn't real|, or it's not emotional. Look how much we cry at a John Lewis advert in the UK at Christmas time or, the traditional, like visual interfaces can still have a very visceral experience. I think we just need to get better. And I think to me, user experience, user journey mapping, really, really understanding the needs, wants and loves of your audience are critical to that because otherwise it's like, finger in the air.” - Karinna Nobbs, Co-founder, The Dematerialised
“You realise that your body does not make a difference between the digital haptic feedback experience and a normal tactile experience. And when that realisation hits you, that's when we really come into this the potential of the internet or senses. I usually say that this is a paradigm shift, it's not one subtle shift that will affect just part of the industry. It will affect all of society just as much as the smartphone has done, because it will enable totally new experiences, services and ways of interacting that we haven't thought about before. It will be at least as revolutionary as the smartphone, I will say. - Dr. Pernilla Jonsson, Head of Consumer & IndustryLab, Ericsson Research
On.. what it will take to make it all work
“Every interaction and every experience that we create is not just for one individual, but for people that are even though remotely placed, enjoying an experience together. That’s something that is bringing a new layer of enjoyment and a new layer of technical difficulty, even to all our interactions. It’s a completely different story when you are on your phone and playing a game vs when there are 10,000 more people doing the same activity with you. That’s a more complex setup, but then it gives you a much better emotional response, because you feel like you're really physically leading that experience. - Francesca Rosella, Creative Director, CuteCircuit
“If you think about incorporating all five senses, you would need a lot more devices that you need to interact with. The devices, the physical environment, the digital environment, and what everybody else is doing. So that is why it's not just about that we get the devices out there in the market, but we need all of the ecosystem to move together here, both the devices, the new services and applications.
When it comes to the Internet of Senses, it won't happen all in one go, it will probably start with the immersive type of digital media that Jonathan has been talking about, like augmented reality, glasses and so on. And it will be a step by step evolution. The concept of the Internet of sensors is already in the making. It will be an evolution, not an overnight kind of thing.” - Dr. Pernilla Jonsson, Head of Consumer & IndustryLab, Ericsson Research
You can watch the full discussion here.
Holition and INTERLACED would like to thank our wonderful panel and everyone who joined live. Stay tuned for announcements about our next webinar happening in April 2021. In the meantime, follow Holition and INTERLACED on social media for the latest updates on the future of fashion.