RTIH: What has been the industry response so far?
MK: We are proud to say that we work with over 30 footwear retailers, including household names such as Adidas, Crocs, Under Armor and Timberland.
We are able to convert real ROI up to 50% higher with 7% reduced returns and demonstrate greater consumer engagement with brands and their products.
RT: What is your biggest challenge?
MK: One of the challenges in building the original product was creating the original dataset.
We had to collect thousands of images, different angles, lighting and backgrounds to enable the AI to work in any testable scenario.
This also includes building custom data annotation tools specifically for this purpose.
Ensuring that each image is properly annotated is a challenging and time-consuming task – we’re very fortunate to have an annotation team that is constantly working on improving the integrity of our underlying datasets.
RTIH: What are the biggest challenges facing the omnichannel retail sector today?
MK: The cost-of-living crisis is manifesting itself in all retail and industry sectors and brands and retailers need to make smart strategic decisions about investment.
The e-commerce sector has seen huge growth during the lockdown and the challenge is how to maintain that momentum as people return to the high street but can earn less.
An omnichannel approach allows brands to capture potential consumers anywhere and replicate the best experiences across channels and offline.
I like to think that VTO tech can be applied to help with social commerce, web or mobile purchasing decisions, and OOH or in-store experiences as well.
RTIH: What’s the best question you’ve been asked about your company or market recently by a.) an investor and b) a customer?
MK: From an investor, we were asked what would happen if Google/Apple released foot tracking as ARKit/ARCore.
If or when this happens and the tracking quality is comparable to what we currently have, we would like to incorporate this into our current product.
The Vyking platform offers more than the original VTO technology, especially as we expand the functionality of Viking Studio to include asset creation.
The best question we’ve been getting from clients lately is about creating 3D assets. We’ve been impressed with how our core customers have been able to increase the number of AR-optimized models.
However, it still only represents a small part of the shoe catalog. To maximize revenue from 3D and VTO, balancing content creation with speed and affordability is key, which is where we are focusing our current R&D efforts.
RT: What can we expect to see from Viking in 2023?
MK: We are deploying our technology to thousands of products across the entire online fashion retail ecosystem, continuing to focus first and foremost on the footwear category.
Our recently launched Magic Mirror product also marks our first in-store and OOH presence.
At its core, Viking is a computer vision and machine learning company and we’re building our next product: creating 3D shoe models using generative AI to allow our customers to further develop deployable products for VTO.
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