Timberland digitally tests concepts with customers

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Timberland is leveraging an augmented reality (AR) platform to give customers digital sneak previews of physical and experiential ideas, concepts and prototypes.

The outdoor gear and apparel brand utilizes the Vurvey AR solution to enable its customers to digitally interact with concepts in 3D and visualize them in their physical environment. The Vurvey AR platform combines 3D visualization with video survey tools that Timberland uses to provide customers with a digital view of concepts that represent how they will appear in final execution, while collecting feedback.

Leveraging the Vurvey AR platform, Timberland allows customers to virtually investigate the design details of a product and explain how they think the concept would function. Via Vurvey AR, customers can also identify which features of a new concept are most important to them, and highlight areas that feel confusing or misleading.

By capturing both video responses to questions and data responses to multiple-choice questions, the solution provides Timberland product teams with immediate feedback they can use to identify barriers to adoption before launching a new product.

By providing the tools for creating fully digital concepts and testing, Vurvey AR eliminates the need to use raw materials and energy to develop, produce, transport and present physical prototypes, iterations and product samples. It can also be used for sharing immersive ideas that require feedback while seeing the concept in the actual environment, such as products on store shelves and in merchandising floor setups.

Recent research from Accenture indicates that retailers are doubling down on their efforts to build online environments that are increasingly like the physical world. Data from the Accenture Business Futures Report reveals that nine in 10 surveyed C-suite executives of retail and consumer goods companies said that they are investing in technologies to create virtual environments and plan to invest further, and 73% said that virtual environments will primarily enhance our interactions and experiences in physical environments. 

Currently, Accenture estimates that 1% of retailers use augmented and virtual reality technologies to improve consumer experience; increasing this to 2% could translate into an estimated additional sales growth of $66 billion. Accenture’s patents analysis indicates that, among published patents, the share of those mentioning augmented or virtual reality has grown by 277% over the past five years.

“Testing concepts digitally provides powerful consumer insights but also helps Timberland’s commitment to a greener future,” said Alex Dardinski, senior director of advanced concepts and energy at Timberland. “People can view virtual concepts and give detailed feedback before we commit to manufacturing or shipping physical samples. The Vurvey AR platform is a faster and more sustainable way to innovate.”

“Vurvey AR helps take that next great idea to market faster than ever before,” said Chad Reynolds, founder and CEO of Vurvey. “For companies looking for better ways to engage customers and collect better insights from them, Vurvey AR unlocks a lot of amazing possibilities for validating and testing physical products quickly. It also enhances sustainability by eliminating the need for materials and resources for product samples. With Vurvey AR, we’re excited to launch the next generation in product testing.”