Earlier this week, leaders in retail, tech, augmented reality, IoT, and other technologies came together for LiveWorx, the world’s largest digital transformation conference and marketplace, in Boston’s innovation district.
There were many experiences – especially for retailers and fashion, apparel, and footwear brands – from a connected mirror in a smart dressing room to fashion items making their runway debut using augmented reality.
With back-to-back sessions highlighting retail technology innovations, numerous meetups and events, and exciting demos of new products and solutions, the four-day “Coachella for the tech crowd," as Paul Rudd joked on Tuesday, passed by in a flash. These are four themes that resonated the most as we look forward to next year’s edition.
From 3D digital product design to additive manufacturing, it feels inevitable that retail product lifecycle management will not only be fully digital, but also three dimensional.
So how will 3D technology impact retailers and brands as they scale for the future?
From the show floor, to messages from the keynote speakers, to the new products and solutions being demoed, the theme of speed was consistent throughout LiveWorx. Retailers and brands must not only get their products to the market with speed, but also deploy solutions at scale with efficiency and quickness. In addition, the speed with which we interact with the digital world is accelerating through emerging technologies like virtual and augmented reality.
As PTC’s Jim Heppelmann explained in his opening keynote, of all five human senses, our sense of sight gives us the ability to process information the fastest. Using augmented reality allows us to visualize digital information as if it were part of the physical world with only our sight, and this will no doubt change the way that we design concepts, ideas, and trends, especially in industries as visual as fashion, apparel, and footwear.
Traditional retailing consists of designing, developing, making, and selling apparel. IoT technology is changing that model. Consumers can now see, experience, “try-on,” and buy clothes before they exist in the physical world using augmented reality, which will change the way that retailers and brands produce apparel and manage their inventory.
Solutions like connected stores and predictive analytics provide retailers with greater and more accurate visibility into inventory at the store level all the way down to the supply chain, giving them the ability to adopt a more cost-efficient and sustainable business model in the future.
Finally, digital transformation isn’t just about designing retail products, or optimizing store layouts, or what the implications to IT infrastructure are. As Daniel Christie of L.L. Bean mentioned in an engaging breakout session, digital transformation impacts every employee in an organization. It enables them to communicate faster, collaborate better, and make smarter business decisions that drive innovation.
Watch the LiveWorx recap video here to relive the sights and sounds from 2018.