Helavation, the innovation arm of leading Sri Lanka-based global apparel manufacturer, Hela Clothing, recently announced the launch of its first augmented reality enabled clothing for children.
The collaboration between Hela and British retailer Tesco is due to hit stores this December.
Commenting on this innovative use of technology, Hela Clothing CIO Nissanga Warnapura said: “After months of development we’re thrilled to be launching this product for Tesco F&F. We see augmented reality and virtual reality as exciting trends for the future and have been building our expertise in these areas over the past year in order to make the technology more accessible to our customers. The Zero Gravity app will be a disruptor to the apparel space, by creating the first interactive gaming experience for children that is activated exclusively through clothing.”
Helavation, which launched in 2015, is a Hela Clothing owned innovation centre. Helavation specialises in providing data driven solutions ranging from incremental value addition all the way to disruptive blue sky innovations. Having built their own augmented reality programme, with a dedicated team of engineers and developers, they are now positioning themselves as the leaders in AR technology for apparel. Combined with Hela’s own world-class manufacturing capability, across its facilities in Sri Lanka, Kenya and Ethiopia, the company will now not only manufacture garments but will also provide an end-to-end technology solution, in the form of AR and a mobile game, to their customers.
Helavation’s very first AR product launch will be for the space-themed Zero Gravity t-shirt, which has been custom developed for Tesco. The British multinational retailer is leading the way by developing and testing new technologies for the apparel space and has previously launched similar products under their homeware brand. AR technology is one of the hottest technology trends, which is set to generate US$83 billion over the next three years, and is yet to be fully explored in the clothing space.
“This demonstrates that not only is Hela Clothing one of the world’s leading garment manufacturers but is now a key partner for multinational retailers’ technology needs,” said Hela clothing Executive Director Dominic McVey.
The ‘Zero Gravity’ t-shirt, which caters to boys aged seven to 12 years, is available to purchase online or in Tesco stores this Christmas. Once the t-shirt has been purchased, buyers will be able to download the Zero Gravity app that will let them explore the t-shirt print, through augmented reality. Whilst, AR in clothing is not new, the pioneering feature of the Zero Gravity app is that it unlocks an exclusive astronaut game. Players will only be able to access the game if their t-shirt is close at hand, hence creating an additional level of interactivity and excitement to the classic t-shirt.