Burberry uses Apple's AR tech to engage app users
Burberry has used Apple’s augmented reality platform to create a new feature for its mobile app allowing users to virtually add “Burberry-inspired” drawings by the artist and director Danny Sangra to their iPhone camera views, according to a Bloomberg report.
The feature, which also lets users post the drawing-enhanced photos to social media, arrives after Burberry launched a new mobile app earlier this year.
The Burberry news also comes days after several home décor and home improvement retailers announced new mobile augmented reality apps that also use Apple's AR platform, ARkit, and are available to Apple mobile devices running the new iOS 11 software.
You would think there might be a little bad blood between Burberry and Apple at this point. After all, former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts departed the company four years ago to become Apple's executive in charge of its retail stores revamp. At the same time, the two companies have also worked together before on efforts like an Apple TV channel and other promotional projects.
Here, Burberry sees an opportunity to make use of Apple's AR technology and reach the tech giant's iPhone owners. And its approach with Apple's AR capabilities is unusual, perhaps even unique among retailers.
To date, we mostly have seen companies launching AR to enhance sales efforts through their apps. For example, Wayfair’s AR app allows users to virtually view Wayfair décor in rooms in their homes and offices using their smartphones. Build.com’s AR app allows users not only to place a lighting fixture in a room view but also go inside the fixture itself to see better.
Fashion retailers and brands are dipping their toes in virtual try-on apps as well. Gap already has gone that route using Google's Tango AR technology. If Burberry moves more in that direction, we could see other luxury fashion brands follow.
In this case, Burberry is focusing more on general brand promotion and customer engagement — getting them to use the new AR capabilities in its app to create something fun. That doesn't mean Burberry won't use AR in other ways, but it's a different first step with the technology from others we've seen.