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TOO x TOO

Issue #089

By Megan Hotson, on 3rd December 2021

Welcome to your weekly dose of TooXToo, this week featuring Dyson’s new VR store, Uno’s collaboration with Giannis Antetokounmpo & Nike, M&S’ AR wayfinding pilot of their new app at Westfield, and a celebration of Virgil Abloh.

Dyson’s new VR store

The last week of November saw Dyson enter the world of VR with the opening of their new demo VR experience store. This new venture will allow consumers to trial its products, before choosing to buy them.

Using the Oculus app, customers can experience and use the Dyson products virtually. In the store you can also watch demonstrations and discover 3D images of tools- including their Supersonic hairdryer.

James Dyson, company founder has said he feels VR will effectively enhance shoppers understanding of the Dyson products. "We have been harnessing powerful virtual reality technologies to engineer new products in our labs for many years, now we are applying those same technologies to re-invent how people explore our products," he commented.

Dyson is responding to the prevalence of virtual ways of interacting amongst today’s consumers. Consumer goods brands especially, are trialling new online forms of interaction in anticipation of the growing Metaverse.

UNO x Nike collection with Giannis

The family-favourite card game UNO is celebrating its 50th anniversary. To do so, they have collaborated with Nike and NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo to release a bold collection of footwear, a newly branded deck, and apparel line.

The two brands have united over their use of, and sense of ‘play’ that infuses their products. Both have an appeal, regardless of age or gender. The three primary colours alongside green cover the shoes producing four unicoloured and bold trainer designs.

The products featured in the collaboration also include several other design elements inspired by the UNO cards. They also celebrate Giannis and his family’s appreciation and love for UNO. “I want every product to be genuine and authentic, and playing UNO with my brothers is a big part of our lives,” implored Antetokounmpo.

Both the footwear and apparel collections will be available on the Nike website in the coming months. UNO’s’ Giannis-branded deck is already shoppable through Mattel Creations and NTWRK.

With Christmas weeks away, this might just be the perfect Christmas pressie for the fellow game, and merch lovers.

M&S’ AR wayfinding pilot of their new app at Westfield

The M&S at Westfield is currently trialling a new augmented reality app in their food hall. The app will seamlessly allow consumers to enter a product into the app and then be guided to its shelf location with on screen directions.

As seen in the picture, when a smartphone is held up, directions will be displayed on screen with markers referencing the location of the product you are searching for. The technology was created by AR start-up ‘Dent Reality’ and will also allow shoppers to create and save shopping lists, as well as figure out the optimum route between items in store.

“They want to improve their customer experience, surface recommendations and recipes, and bring all the things they do online, to the in-store experience,” Dent Reality co-founder Andrew Hart commented on M&S’ new AR venture.

If the app proves successful in its initial trials, M&S have said the app will be made usable for members of the public in January. To make the consumer experience more accessible, they hope to make this wayfinding technology part of their existing M&S app, not a stand-alone app that consumers must download in addition.

A celebration of Virgil Abloh

On Wednesday, Virgil’s name was illuminated in the sky in Miami at what was an emotional final show for Louis Vuitton. The creative, multi-hyphenate, Abloh died last Sunday at the age of 41 following his struggle with a rare form of cancer.

To celebrate his life and wonderous work, both collaborators, and friends gathered on a barge docked at Biscayne Bay, where Louis Vuitton hosted the show for its Spring-Summer 2022 men’s collection. The show featured a 30-foot-tall rainbow sculpture of Abloh holding an LV-branded vinyl record case; there was also a hot-air balloon and another sculpture of a paper plane- both symbols of Abloh’s powerful imagination.

This show was originally meant to be one of many more to come that celebrated his impactful creativity. It was perfectly apt, however, that this last exhibition of his work would be a demonstration of discovery at a time of both despair, and cynicism. Virgil was a keen optimist, and this was clearly reflected in how he lived and worked.

A concert also took place featuring Kid Cudi and Erykah Badu. Concluding the celebration and appreciation of Abloh’s life- orchestral music followed, with the soft voice-over of Abloh himself: “I’ve been on this focus in terms of my art and creativity, of getting adults to behave like children again. And they go back into this sense of wonderment. They start to stop using their mind, and they start using their imagination.”

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