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May 1st, 2018

WatchBox Invests $200,000 in Augmented Reality to “Try-On” Watches at Home Before Buying

Mark Metry Founder VU Dream

Mark Metry, Founder of VU Dream

WatchBox, the global e-commerce platform for the buying, selling and trading of pre-owned luxury watches, has invested $200,000 into developing an Augmented Reality feature within the company’s free eponymous mobile app, WatchBox.
Nearly one-third of all online purchases are returned because of a disparity between what the customer sees online and what they receive, according to e-commerce agency, i95 Dev
 
WatchBox’s advent into AR remedies this; all watches “appear” on wrists in their approximate size and shape dimensions, allowing customers to virtually see how their new watch will look on their wrists in real life.
The WatchBox AR component allows customers to see how a watch will look on their wrists before buying online.
“Technology plays a crucial role for WatchBox and our omni-channel approach. But it’s not just technology for technology’s sake. Every innovation we pursue always has the end goal of providing personalized service, education, expert council and convenience for our customers. Our investment into augmented reality is for our e-commerce customers to feel confident in their online purchase.”
Danny Govberg, co-founder of WatchBox.
Available to “try-on” now through the Augmented Reality component are several watches that premiered at 2018’s two most important watch industry shows, SIHH and Baselworld.
 
These include new product releases from Audemars Piguet, Breitling, Tag Heuer, and many others, none of which will be available for customers to purchase until later this year. The WatchBox app, however, allows customers to get a sense of what these new releases will look like on their wrists now
 
Hailed as the Kelley Blue Book of Watches” by Forbes because of its revolutionary Watch Pricing Guide, the addition of AR places the WatchBox app ahead of all other apps -– and retailers — within the category.
 
By printing and wearing a proprietary bracelet, available through the WatchBox app or downloadable from http://thewatchbox.com/ar,  watch enthusiasts can virtually “try-on” hundreds of watches from WatchBox’s growing inventory of brands, including Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Omega, Patek Philippe and more. Users can then take photos of watches “on” their wrists through the app to share with friends or post on social media.
 
WatchBox’s venture into AR is led by the company’s new Chief Technology Officer, Shri Ballal, who previously served as Managing Director at EA Games Core Engineering Group. With Ballal’s industry expertise in creating authentic user experiences within the gaming industry, the AR component was developed in-house with some assistance from an outside agency WatchBox’s continued dedication to marrying retail with technology is one of many reasons Singapore-based CMIA Capital Partners invested in the company last year.
 
Since its 2015 debut, the WatchBox mobile app has become an unparalleled mobile personal assistant for watch enthusiasts worldwide With the popular Watch Pricing Guide, users have discovered how much a watch sold for over a twelve-month period, giving a benchmark to price their own watch for personal resale The guide includes over 80,000 references based on WatchBox’s proprietary algorithms and database of millions of pre-owned market transactions. Since introducing this market value component, there have been more than 250,000 value searches.
 
The My WatchBox feature allows users to upload pictures of their watches into the app, providing an easily-accessible virtual depository of ownership information, including purchase date and price, serial numbers, warranty details, service history and more Users can also create wish lists and opt-in for notifications when the desired watch becomes available.
 
My WatchBox integrates with The Watch Pricing Guide to display the current market value of each watch within the user’s collection, while providing a total estimated value for their entire collection With this feature’s popularity, the total collective value of all registered My WatchBox user collections currently exceeds $500 million.
 
The Shopping feature puts WatchBox’s complete inventory of pre-owned watches at their fingertips for purchase.  Users can sell or trade their watches with WatchBox concierge through the Sell or Trade feature by providing identifying details (watch brand name, model, and reference number), disclosing whether box and papers are available, and uploading current pictures.
 
If trading for another watch, users can also select up to four watches from the WatchBox or Govberg inventory to complete their trade.  A WatchBox concierge will then contact the user to conclude the transaction. 
 
The News feature gives access to the latest watch industry blogs and articles, and broadcasts live shows from WatchBox Studio’s daily hands-on video watch reviews These videos are produced by WatchBox’s own in-house studio and narrated by experts with specialized brand knowledge
 
The WatchBox app can be downloaded free of charge on iOS devices from the App Store and on Android devices from the Google Play Store.  The AR component is available now on the iOS app version, with the feature coming to Android later in the year.

Conclusion

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We’ve seen a tremendous amount of disruptive change coming from the Virtual and Augmented Reality Industry. These few years are the first steps towards a prosperous future. It is surely certain that this kind of content will accelerate based on future trends.

For more information on virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) stay right here at VU Dream for all the latest details.

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