Finger Food Debuts Immersive AR App for MEC’s New Flagship Store in Toronto

Advanced photogrammetry brings incredibly realistic digital objects to life with augmented reality, enhancing customer interaction and ease of purchase

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 16, 2019 /CNW/ — Finger Food Studios has partnered with MEC, Canada’s go-to place for outdoor gear and know-how, to launch an immersive and high-fidelity augmented reality experience. The application leverages assets created using custom-built photogrammetry technology to capture objects of all sizes, in realistic detail, creating an AR experience unlike any other. The app recently debuted at MEC’s its new Toronto flagship store that opened on April 13, 2019.

Augmented Reality at Outdoor retailer (MEC) from Finger Food on Vimeo.

Despite the scale of the new 35,750-square-foot facility, MEC will still need to carefully manage the floorspace built display tents occupy – with a range of 130 available through MEC online and instore, there would be little space for other products. By working with Finger Food, a leader in the augmented reality market, the retailer can easily showcase an extensive selection of tents, offering customers a dynamic 360-degree view of each tent, inside and out, in unprecedented detail, not available in the current crop of AR shopping applications.

Finger Food’s previous work included helping customers like Microsoft and Paccar develop new ways to approach automobile design as well as Lowe’s and Google for one of the first indoor design apps.

“We believe the future of the customer experience will be significantly changed through the integration of technology,” said MEC CEO David Labistour. “This project with Finger Food demonstrates that belief. When it comes to tents, we know they take up a lot of space at retail and we can’t display our full line. The customer wants to be able to see and ‘explore’ each tent in their decision-making process. This new AR experience allows customers to do just that with all the tents, in unprecedented detail, on a mobile device. This experience integrates well, in to our new Queens Street West flagship store.”

Photogrammetry technology itself is not new, but it’s used to create truly realistic 3D assets for use in augmented reality is still relatively nascent. Finger Food has developed its own photogrammetry studio in the company’s Holodeck, a massive space allowing the team to photograph and map small objects, like a shoe, all the way up to semi-trailer truck or other heavy equipment. Thousands of pictures are taken around the entire object and processed using Finger Food’s proprietary data processing pipeline, combining them together in a way that captures every detail including textural qualities.

“MEC is a progressive company, so it was no surprise they were keen to utilise technology to address known challenges and enhance their customer experience,” said Finger Food CEO Ryan Peterson. “We give customers the ability to view MEC products, close-up, wherever they are – that’s the beauty of AR for connected devices. Our photogrammetry process allows us to bring any tent to the customer, without changing the store layout or footprint.”

The application will be shared with customers by MEC associates via an iPad. Based on overall response and feedback, the application can be also delivered via VR goggles or downloaded as an Android or iOS application on consumer devices allowing them to experience the tents at home or better yet, outdoors, before buying.

Here are a few of the key benefits of Finger Food’s unique photogrammetry solution:

  • Ultra-realistic – each object is captured using over a thousand high-definition images allowing even the smallest details – the texture of a fabric, stitching or hair – to be seen
  • No limit on scale – The process has accurately captured objects as small as a pair of sunglasses and as big as a heavy-duty construction equipment
  • Speed – A typical 3D modelling exercise can take days. A photogrammetry capture using Finger Food’s system is less than an hour, start to finish
  • Overcoming photogrammetry hurdles – This process overcomes some notoriously difficult subject matter for photogrammetry (e.g. specular or transparent objects and surfaces)
  • Skilled development team – Finger Food has a team of highly skilled 3D artists who developed workflows for taking raw 3D models and prepping them for use in mobile app, expedited the entire process without sacrificing quality

Customers will be able to experience the new application at the Toronto flagship located at 300 Queen Street West.

See related;

CMO Anne Donohoe talks about the retailer’s past, and future, as a place to chill, run, climb and shop.

How MEC is building on its experiential history

About MEC
MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) is Canada’s go-to place for outdoor gear, know-how and inspiration. Combining high-quality apparel and equipment with expert advice and firsthand experience, MEC supports a wide range of activities including camping, snowsports, watersports, cycling, climbing, hiking, running, yoga and travel. Established in 1971, MEC is Canada’s largest consumer co-operative with over 5 million members across the country. A lifetime membership is available for $5. A strong backer of community initiatives, MEC has invested over $41 million and counting into non-profit organizations that support outdoor recreation and conservation. For more information, visit www.mec.ca and follow @mec, or visit one of our 23 stores nationwide

About Finger Food Studios
Finger Food was founded in 2009, with the mission of engineering the world’s best mobile applications and hardware. Since then, Finger Food has grown into a company that has worked with the world’s biggest companies, like Activision, Microsoft, Enbridge and Lululemon, delivered the world’s first industrial holographic application and created the world’s largest coding education platform with Sphero.

Finger Food believes in designing, developing and delivering solutions that have the potential to disrupt the market. The company’s mission is to radically transform the digital experience and align the latest technology to where a company, workflow, or product needs to be to remain competitive in their respective markets.

Combining technical prowess and some of the world’s best creative, engineering, quality assurance, and business professionals – most with a background in gaming, the company embraces challenge is equipped to take on the array of challenges and opportunities that the Interactive entertainment business throws at them

Based in BC, Canada Finger Food has 140 employees operating out of three facilities: The Holodeck – the largest dedicated Augmented and Virtual Reality design studio in Canada, the IoT Design shop – a hardware development facility, and HQ.

SOURCE Finger Food Studios

2019-04-17T11:41:14-04:00 April 17th, 2019|