VR + AI: A new era of fashion retail?
Is this demo giving us a glimpse of the future of online retail? Generative AI is becoming an increasingly popular tool for creators looking to push their creative boundaries, and now it’s VR’s turn to benefit. In this web app from Blockade Labs it’s possible to place yourself on a Balenciaga runway in Antarctica or any unexpected setting you can come up with, using text-to-image AI.
This web app from Blockade Labs leverages both Stable Diffusion and Intel’s MIDAS (a machine-learning model to extract depth from still images) to create a 360-degree environment from a text prompt. The resulting skybox can be exported for use in WebXR, games, and other interactive experiences, opening up a world of possibilities for creators who want to create and prototype immersive environments. This is just one out of many new creative directions unlocked by the combination of generative AI and VR
What is a skybox?
A skybox is a technique used in VR to create the illusion of a 3D environment surrounding the user. It is essentially a 360-degree background image or a series of six images that are wrapped around the user’s field of view, simulating the appearance of a distant horizon or the sky. In VR, the skybox is used to provide a sense of spatial orientation and immersion, and to create a sense of presence within the virtual environment. The skybox is typically rendered as a static background, but it can also be animated to create a more dynamic and realistic environment. Skyboxes are commonly used in video games, simulations, and other VR applications to create immersive and visually engaging environments. They are often used in combination with other techniques such as lighting, shadows, and particle effects to create a more realistic and immersive experience for the user.
The future of virtual showrooms?
Not only does using AI this way cut out costs and time compared to a manual process, but as it’s this immediate it allows developers to try out a variety of environments in prototyping, before deciding on the final one. It also allows creators with less experience in 3D design to create high-quality skyboxes for a concept or a game, freeing up time for designers and developers to focus on the overall VR experience. But perhaps the most exciting aspect of this concept is the ability to flip the traditional perspective of sender and receiver, allowing users to become co-creators of their own interactive experiences. This new way of activating users is highly relevant for brands all over the world, that are already building virtual showrooms and environments. Imagine a virtual shopping environment that takes customers to exotic and imaginative locations, all from the comfort of their own homes – with no 3D modeling needed. By combining VR and AI, online retailers will in the future have the opportunity to create unique experiences that the world hasn’t seen yet.