Finger Food Studios debuts immersive AR app for MEC’s new flagship store in Toronto

April 16, 2019 – Finger Food Studios has partnered with Canadian outdoor gear retailer MEC, to launch an immersive augmented reality experience. The application leverages assets created using custom-built photogrammetry technology to capture objects of all sizes, in realistic detail, creating an AR experience. The app recently debuted at MEC’s new Toronto flagship store that opened on April 13, 2019.

By working with Finger Food, MEC will be able to showcase its extensive selection of 130 tents, offering customers a dynamic 360-degree view of each tent, inside and out, whilst saving on floorspace in its new 35,540 square-foot Toronto store.

Finger Food’s previous work includes helping customers like Microsoft and Paccar develop new ways to approach automobile design as well as Lowe’s and Google for an indoor design app.

“We believe the future of the customer experience will be significantly changed through the integration of technology,” said MEC CEO David Labistour. “This project with Finger Food demonstrates that belief. When it comes to tents, we know they take up a lot of space at retail and we can’t display our full line. The customer wants to be able to see and ‘explore’ each tent in their decision-making process. This new AR experience allows customers to do just that with all the tents, in unprecedented detail, on a mobile device. This experience integrates well into our new Queens Street West flagship store.”

Finger Food has developed its own photogrammetry studio in the company’s Holodeck, a large space allowing the team to photograph and map small objects, such as a shoe, all the way up to semi-trailer truck or other heavy equipment. Thousands of pictures are taken around the entire object and processed using Finger Food’s proprietary data processing pipeline, combining them together in a way that captures every detail including textural qualities.

“MEC is a progressive company, so it was no surprise they were keen to utilise technology to address known challenges and enhance their customer experience,” said Finger Food CEO Ryan Peterson. “We give customers the ability to view MEC products, close-up, wherever they are – that’s the beauty of AR for connected devices. Our photogrammetry process allows us to bring any tent to the customer, without changing the store layout or footprint.”

The application will be shared with customers by MEC associates via an iPad. Based on overall response and feedback, the application can be also delivered via VR goggles or downloaded as an Android or iOS application on consumer devices allowing them to experience the tents at home, as well as outdoors, before buying.

Finger Food listed the following benefits of its photogrammetry solution:

  • Ultra-realistic – each object is captured using over a thousand high-definition images allowing even the smallest details – the texture of a fabric, stitching or hair – to be seen
  • No limit on scale – The process has accurately captured objects as small as a pair of sunglasses and as big as a heavy-duty construction equipment
  • Speed – A typical 3D modelling exercise can take days. A photogrammetry capture using Finger Food’s system is less than an hour, start to finish
  • Overcoming photogrammetry hurdles – This process overcomes some notoriously difficult subject matter for photogrammetry (e.g. specular or transparent objects and surfaces)

Customers will be able to experience the new application at the Toronto flagship store located at 300 Queen Street West.

Video credit: Finger Food Studios/Vimeo

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.