Speedo dives into AR with face scanning app for goggles buyers

Sports, outdoor and fashion group Pentland Brands has unveiled a face scanning app that helps its Speedo online customers find the right-sized goggles.

The Speedo Mirror mobile app uses augmented reality (AR) and 3D face scanning technology to recommend the best fit for swimmers, and offers an instant preview of what the product would look like when worn.

Pentland Brands said the aim was to emulate the in-store experience for Speedo customers wherever they are in the world.

Speedo spent the last two months trialling the technology, before releasing it on the App Store yesterday (9 September). Using a tablet device, 3,500 users have virtually tried on over 30,000 goggles and received 2,500 custom-made recommendations during the test phase.

Ben Hardman, head of innovation at Pentland Brands, said: “The Speedo Mirror app is a great example of how we’re combining digital and product innovation in our brands, which is becoming increasingly important as consumers interact with products in the digital space.

“This technology will undoubtedly enhance our customers’ shopping experiences by allowing them to interact with the product before they make a purchase. In this instance, it helps them address a well-documented human pain point: leaky goggles.”

As well as being supported by a range of new technologies, the release represents Speedo’s first transactional app. The retail group has also identified multiple future use cases for the technology across its house of brands.

“What’s significant is that the technology can be applied to any footwear, apparel or accessories that are custom-fitted,” Hardman explained, adding there are plenty of opportunities for the company to use AR to make its products more accessible.

Pentland Brands’ in-house innovation team recently launched a customisation tool for Endura, its cycling clothing, bike helmets and accessories brand. It allows cycling teams to design their own outfits.

The retail group also owns Berghaus, Canterbury of New Zealand, Boxfresh, Ellesse, SeaVees, Red or Dead, and Mitre. It is also the licensee for Kickers in the UK and has a joint venture partnership for Lacoste footwear.

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