Outdoor Voices Promotes Its AR App at SXSW to Get People Outside—and Shopping

The experience is available for only 2 days

The Outdoor Voices Trail Shop augmented reality app. Outdoor Voices
Headshot of Ann-Marie Alcántara

For a company whose slogan is “Doing Things,” Outdoor Voices couldn’t have picked a better weekend with great weather to promote its new augmented reality app.

Outdoor Voices encouraged consumers and Austin residents (where the company is headquartered) to leave the convention center at South by Southwest and instead head to a nearby park to get outside and check out its AR shop.

The five-year-old digital native brand’s new AR app lets consumers shop for products at a certain location. The idea behind the location-specific shopping experience is to get people out of their homes and reward them with exclusive apparel for doing so, explained Tricia Katz, senior software engineer at Outdoor Voices.

To use the Outdoor Voices Trail shop app, users point their phone downward to scan the ground and then walk toward specific products. As people get closer to a product, the app displays information about it. If they want to know more, they can slide the product tab up or they can tap to use Apple Pay to complete a purchase. Users can also walk around the products to see it from a 360-degree perspective or spin the product around on the app.

Katz shared that the app ties into the company’s mission of bridging retail with getting people moving.

“[The app] allows some individuals to really experience it and kind of see the future of retail and of our brand’s commitment to being outside and getting people away from their computer,” Katz said. “It’s a really unique combo of how we build technology in ways that still support our brand mission and also serve all of the people that for the most part purchase online these days.”

In future iterations of the app, Outdoor Voices hopes to use it to deliver highly specific experiences that are tailored to the weather or location, with the AR store setup looking different depending on what the company is aiming to promote.

Part of the company’s reasoning to officially promote the app at SXSW was to join a week where innovation and entrepreneurs are celebrated, explained Katz.

“We wanted to play in that prototype and innovative space,” Katz said. “AR is such a new technology but forging that path and really seeing what we can do with it from a retail and recreational experience.”

@itstheannmarie annmarie.alcantara@adweek.com Ann-Marie Alcántara is a tech reporter for Adweek, focusing on direct-to-consumer brands and ecommerce.