Want to see how well LeBron James’ jersey fits? Now you can try it on via the LA Lakers Snapchat Lens.
Hexa, a startup that specializes in 3D visualizations, worked with Microsoft and Snap Inc. to create the augmented reality shopping experience. Shoppers can try on and buy the shirts via the Lakers Lens in the Snapchat App. The shirts and Hexa’s 3D images are also available in the Lakers’ online store.
Hexa uses artificial intelligence and a team of 3D engineers to build and distribute 3D models, 360-degree experiences and augmented reality at scale. The company’s software converts 2D product images into 3D images.
A Hexa customer creates URLs for each 2D image and sends those links to the company to be converted. Hexa returns the images in 3D format via a single line of code. Yehiel Atias, CEO at Hexa, said his company has always used this approach to make it easy to implement the 3D virtualization service.
“After five years in the making, we built the first technology that can convert any image, scan or CAD file into a hyperrealistic 3D model,” Atias said.
The company worked with executives at Walmart, IKEA, H&M, Alibaba, Target and Amazon to develop the service. Atias said repurposing content–such as existing images–is often ignored by retailers and brands that set up a relatively narrow 3D content strategy.
“Due to the fact that 3D/AR content is so impactful, every time you repurpose or re-distribute your content, you create additional value,” he said. “At scale, this makes a difference.”
Hexa is a member of the Microsoft for Startups program. This program offers new companies benefits ranging from mentors to Azure sponsorship credits to Microsoft 365 productivity tools and GitHub and Visual Studio Code. The program works with entrepreneurs in the idea stage as well as people who have launched a minimum viable product.
“Hexa is on a mission to bring a variety of immersive, 3D commerce experiences to brands and retailers worldwide,” Shish Shridhar, global retail lead, Microsoft for Startups, said in a press release. “We are pleased to support Hexa with Azure cloud infrastructure to deliver a best-in-class experience of 3D/AR and virtual try-on solutions to our joint clients.”
Hexa worked directly with Snap teams to launch the Lakers Lens.
“Since the Lakers project will most likely be one of the largest virtual try-on experiments in the apparel industry to date, it was important for both parties to work closely together and integrate Hexa’s 3D content to Snap’s AR technology,” Atias said.
Hexa’s content is compatible with all virtual worlds, including Decentraland, Atias said, creating a variety of use cases for retailers and brands.
“Retailers can now sell their virtual goods inside Decentraland marketplaces, set up virtual shops (on other platforms) or even use NFT technology to provide shoppers with real, long lasting, digital value,” Atias said.