"Finding the Holy Grail": An Interview with John Peeters (Holiton)

AR/VR/MR AR , VR , eCommerce

John Peeters has over 20 years of experience as a commercial director for several Dutch retail companies such as Bruna, C1000 and SNS Bank.The rapidly changing (retail) environment sparked his decision to leave the traditional corporate career path and join London based creative digital agency Holition. He was interested in exploring the immersive digital journey: a journey that is taking off and heading for destinations unknown.

John is a co-owner of Holition and responsible for global business development.

His keynote at DIGILITY will focus on how technology disruption is already essential for brands to engage consumers, from rational to a more experiential and emotional side. Bringing the online to offline by combining the new trends from art, technology, fashion, media, culture, science and nature. Examples will be shown of Dunhill, Louis Vuitton, De Beers, Uniqlo, Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon, Lyst, Sally Hansen, Rimmel and Estée Lauder Companies which all raised the bar.

In his interview John already gave us some tips how brands can effectively communicate with their consumers and a best-practice case for the application of VR and AR in the consumer communication.

From the business perspective, which trends in virtual and augmented reality are the most promising to you?

Virtual reality differs from augmented reality in that it only uses computer-generated imagery, but AR probably makes more sense when dealing with interpersonal communications.
To master the anthropological aspect between humans and technology, in my humble opinion, AR offers more/better ways to facilitate that and therefore may be more promising.

How can technologies like VR and AR change the way brands communicate with their costumers?

To make the difference as a brand one should not focus on the technology as such but on the creativity to interact with the customer. Customers are more and more interested in a personalized one-to-one approach by brands. Brands which are able to manage the big data and social media profiles of their customers in combination with technology to establish relevant experiences and conversations for their customers will be the survivors in the current disruptive environment.
VR and AR are only tools to enhance those experiences and conversations.

Uniqlo Magic Mirror, a virtual fitting and dressing system to test clothes in different colours without changing them.

Can you give us a best-practice-case for the application of VR or AR in the consumer communication of a brand?

AR and VR in general, but especially with retail, have struggled up to now because they have typically been one-off applications - out on a headset in a store, get an experience, take off the head-set and get on with the rest of your life. So ‘stickability’, finding AR and VR applications that are a permanent feature of your life are the Holy Grail. Rimmel’s Get the Look (virtual try-on of makeup in real time) is potentially one such app because it lives on your smartphone and becomes a cosmetic style guru in your pocket or handbag - as you travel through your life, meeting new people, seeing new ideas and experiencing new trends and looks, Rimmel’s Get The Look captures that look and allows you to try it on immediately. It is a kind of Shazam for Beauty.

With whom of our other DIGILITY speakers would you like to get a cup of coffee?

I would be delighted to have a conversation with the speakers who attend my speech to see what we have in common and even more in which we have different opinions. Because when opinions diverge the conversations get really interesting.

Which of your projects will you present at DIGILITY?

I will present some projects of virtual try-on of jewelry for Boucheron and Tissot; magic mirrors for Vans and Uniqlo; instore experiences for Louis Vuitton; a hologram fashion show for Dunhill; several examples of virtual try-on of makeup and several other projects.

‘Trafalgar’ : The largest retail holographic show, created for Alfred Dunhill.

In two sentences: WHY DIGILITY? (Why are you personally joining us? Why should stakeholders and decision makers come to DIGILITY in Cologne?)

I’m personally joining you to spread the word and philosophy of Holition in Germany. People should visit Digility since it offers them the whole range of digital regarding AR, VR and eCommerce. Although it is already here for some years a lot of companies are still struggling how to apply it for their business. One may find some guidance and inspiration during Digility.

Thank you, John. We are excited to see more of your fascinating projects at DIGILITY!