Adapting Google’s Tango technology, made-to-measure menswear retailer Surmesur revolutionizes the shopping experience
Québec City, Canada – Step aside, Pokémon! Surmesur, a family-owned made-to-measure menswear company, is taking augmented reality in an entirely new direction. Using Google’s augmented reality (AR) technology called Tango, the Canadian retailer has developed a tablet-based tool that allows shoppers to create their own shirts from collar to cuffs and to see their creation change in real time in an interactive, three-dimensional, AR environment.
“We’ve literally put countless design options in the hands of the consumer for a totally customizable AR experience,” said Surmesur co-founder and co-CEO François Thériault, referring to the thousands of fabric choices and innumerable design options Surmesur customers already have to create and customize their own made-to-measure shirts. “This takes the technology way beyond just being able to look at a 3D image change from small to medium to large. It gives the consumer full creative control and allows them to see a realistic rendering of what they’ve created before they buy.”
Using a Tango-equipped Lenovo Phab 2 Pro tablet available in each of Surmesur’s eight retail stores, customers can swipe, walk around, and zoom in and out to view the garment they’re creating from every angle against the real-life backdrop of the store. The tablet is linked to the company’s proprietary creation software called the Studio, which allows the client to select such design options as the fabric pattern, the number and placement of pockets, the style of the collar and the color of the buttons. The chosen selections are displayed on the tablet so the client can see how the finished product will look.
“This totally transforms the shopping experience,” said Thériault. “Because all of our clothing is made to measure, there is no finished product to try on before you place your order. Until now, we could only display a two-dimensional rendering on our in-store computer screen. With customizable augmented reality, it’s almost like having the shirt you’ve designed right in front of you four weeks before it’s actually been made.”
The introduction of customizable AR is in keeping with the Surmesur concept, which combines traditional tailoring methods and personalized customer service with modern innovations such as laser cutting, digital design and omni-channel marketing. The model has helped the company expand from a basement operation in 2010 to today include eight North American retail stores and a growing number of shop-in-shop concessions.
Thériault said the company plans to continue exploring new ways of applying augmented reality and other technologies to change the way consumers shop. “We started this project with shirts only, and that alone took a long time to input into the software, but we also make suits and have plenty of other ideas up our sleeves. What we’ve done so far is really only the beginning of what we’re eventually going to be able to do.”
Founded in 2010 by brothers François and Vincent Thériault, Surmesur combines tradition and innovation to offer a unique shopping experience that allows men to create unique clothing, made to measure according to their tastes and preferences and offered at ready-to-wear prices. Besides its head office and store in Québec City, Surmesur has stores in Montreal, Laval, Ottawa, Toronto, Mississauga, Chicago and Pittsburgh.