Augmented Reality for window-shoppers in Stockholm

Christmas Window Display at Nordiska Kompaniet in Stockholm

writer icon Peter Karlsson     Nordiska Kompaniet   |   Tech     🕐 03. Dec. 2018

This Christmas, one of Sweden’s oldest department stores has introduced some new technology to its classic shop windows.

Nordiska Kompaniet’s (NK) famous Christmas window display is brought to life with help of Augmented Reality (AR).

NK has released an app titled “NK Christmas”, which has the latest AR technology built in. By downloading the app, people can reach an extra dimension of the Christmas display. A dimension that is otherwise out of bounds.

Bringing Christmas to life
When one angles a smartphone camera to specific markers in the window display, characters from the display come to life on the phone, and a wintry landscape appears. There are also markers placed inside the department store, near to the main entrance.

The app is currently only available for iPhone users. This is a surprising choice by NK. While it is a fact that the majority of Swedes choose iPhone over Android, NK is a popular stop for tourists in Stockholm, who are just as likely to own an Android phone.

“This year’s Christmas at NI combines something of the best from our history, a high-quality Christmas window display, with a taster of the future where the possibilities of digitalisation are used in a creative and fun way,” said Henrik Andréasson, CEO of NK

AR growing in popularity
The app from NK is using the same technology found in the highly popular Pokémon Go, an app that reached its highest number of users during May 2018, with a record 147 million people playing the game. 

While AR may have started as a gimmick for many gamers, it is swiftly being adopted by businesses for commercial use. IKEA launched an AR app last year that allows users to see how pieces of IKEA furniture would look when placed in their own home. Large companies, both within Sweden and internationally, are putting huge amounts of money and resources into developing using AR technology. 

A magnificent window
NK’s window display is known around the world for being luxurious and grandiose. It has been a tradition for the department store since the doors first opened in Stockholm, in 1915.

Each year, the display dazzles children and has an impact on shoppers and tourists alike. Many people make a specific trip past the shop windows at this time of year, to take in the display.

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