Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Holograms, Fashion Robots, Digital Scents, Virtual Mirrors, Neuromarketing and everything in between

At the recent Club e-Luxe International Summit hosted by Luxe Corp on 3rd June at the Ritz Hotel Paris, luxury brands showed the kind of enthusiasm towards technology, innovation and interactive media that is indeed rare in the industry. It may have been the excitement of being in the midst of fashion holograms (or the fact that the holograms made a show of dressing up live in the latest fashions) or the stimulation of spending the day with some of the world's most respected innovation and technology experts, including the inventor of the fashion Robot (who flew in from Japan), the most renowned Neuro Sceintist (who flew in from California), the creator of the Hunch Engine (from Boston), the inventor of the Online Makeover tool (again from California), the inventor of the Digital Scent, based in Paris, Holographics experts from France and Scandinavia, Virtual Shopping experts from Germany, Augmented Reality experts from Switzerland, Mobile Technology experts from the UK and key opinion leaders in both the luxury and technology sectors from France, the US and all over Europe.
As diverse as their backgrounds were, they seemed to be united by a shared passion for innovation through technology and how luxury could benefit from its transformatory powers.

For the forward-thinking luxury companies that participated at the event (Gucci Group, Chopard, Vertu, Boucheron, Hermès, Fabergé, Labelux, Adler, K.Aria, Jeanne Nalin, to name just a few), the day was one of extreme intellectual stimulation that evoked fresh thinking and challenged luxury brands to push the boundaries required for them to become leaders in digital innovation.   
For the fourth edition of the Club e-Luxe Summit, the focus was on the theme of "Innovation" and how luxury can apply the latest digital developments in both the online and offline aspects of its business. Topic areas included Hologram Imaging, Interactive Shopping, Humanoid Robotics, Social Media, Neuromarketing, Digital Scent technology, Virtual Dressing & Makeover technologies, Augmented Reality, Mobile Technology, Digital Product Extension, E-Business Strategy, Hunch Engine applications and several others. Drawing on the knowledge and expertise of the speakers and the Luxe Corp team of Luxury Business Analysts, the topics were treated with depth, insight and rigour. Nearly all the fourteen sessions were accompanied by live DEMOs, bringing much appreciated interactivity and practical dimensions to the presentations, not to forget the right dose of excitement.
In addition to the insightful Presentations, DEMOs, Workshops and Panel Debates, the day was filled with interactive simulations beginning from the holographic animation "défilé" of the logos of the participating brands floating in the air created by Animatik Studio; to the digital scent installations that provided "virtual cocktails" among others provided by Scentsys Fragrance Systems; not to mention the special ambience created by Maison Rigaud's candles and the sound ambience by Sonodea New York.  Innovative wonders and activities were hardly in lack and participants were as spoilt for choice as kids in a candy shop.  
The event's highlights also included a three-course French lunch enjoyed in an open-air restaurant created exclusively for the event by the Ritz Hotel Paris; a raffle draw where two participants won an HP - Vivienne Tam Butterfly Lovers laptop and an HP Envy 5 laptop, causing quite a frenzy; a champagne cocktail reception in the private gardens of the Ritz, not forgetting the gift bags filled with delightful discoveries including luxury objects from Luxe Corp's Living Emotions series.
By the end of this loooong yet rich and stimulating day, participants were recharged and equipped to introduce the innovative practices within their brands that the luxury industry badly needs.

Here is a selection of a few of my favourite quotes and expressions from the event. To read the full synopsis of the 2010 Club e-Luxe Summit and past events of Club e-Luxe, click here. If you'll like to request for a brochure of the event or future events, click here.

"The future of digital media in luxury will be based on borderless technology that will unite the physical store with the virtual platform and the mobile content"

"The neurons in the human brain are responsible for brand affinity and loyalty and luxury brands need to use specialized methods to design communications campaigns to directly activate the relevant neurons"

"Holographics provide the strongest impact in luxury experiences and interactions as they leave a lasting and unforgettable impression in the mind"

"Fashion robots are part of the fourth generation humanoid robot family and can perform a combination of human and computerized tasks, ranging from catwalk shows to product launches, store openings, press releases, events, studio fittings and even DJaying!"
"Smart objects currently outnumber the world's population"

"Technology for the sake of technology is not interesting. It is the expereince it brings that counts"

"Luxury brands should not be driven by existing technology but by imagining what technology can bring to them and then going out to find the experts to create it"

"Technology may not be relevant for every area of the luxury busines but it should be used at the right moment and in the right format"

"Scent is the only human sense that is not interpreted by the brain and people tend to link scent to experiences, which is crucial for luxury brands"

"Virtual shopping through live digital dressing becomes even more powerful when combined with remote social shopping with companions via the web"  

"All technologies are enablers and not end in themselves"

"Google is useless when you don't know what you're looking for. This is where the Hunch Engine becomes useful"   
The enchanting Salon César Ritz overlooking the Ritz private gardens, where the Club e-Luxe Summit has been held for the past four years once again served as the right setting for a day that the participants called "superb", "stimulating", "enriching", "excellent", "intensive", "beautiful", "high quality", "beyond expectations" and all manners of beautiful words. To read the full synopsis of the event, click here.

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