Each month, Altavia Coach brings you a selection of innovative solutions in the retail sector. Here we take a closer look at two of them: V-Cult and SmartPixels.
V-Cult takes brand storytelling to the next level. Founded in 2009 by Tom Gauthier, the Lille-based start-up has become a 3D and virtual reality expert. The idea? Use video games as a basis to offer exciting, interactive and immersive experiences around brand experience. The goal is to enhance brand storytelling, boost companies’ sales performance and address specific business line issues.
Its B-to-B services were launched a year and a half ago.
Unique technology. The immersive experiences created by V-Cult can be accessed natively from any web browser thanks to its one-of-a-kind technology. The start-up developed its own graphics engine that runs online, so there’s no need to download smartphone apps or computer software. Users simply open an Internet browser and access immersive 3D content which can also be viewed using a virtual reality headset.
Vertical markets. To date, V-Cult has moved into four vertical markets: retail (Décathlon, Etam, Boulanger, Tape à l’œil, etc.); professional training (Moët Hennessy Group – LVMH, Bonduelle, etc.); real estate development (Nacarat, which is part of the Rabot Dutilleul construction group); and industry.
The next stages are to develop the industrial vertical market for maintenance projects and factory management, continue expanding the company internationally, launching its first B-to-B product to enable clients to develop their content themselves, and launch a second product for retail merchandising.
SmartPixels and projection augmented reality. SmartPixels, which was formed in May 2015 by Jérémy Verdo (HEC, Polytechnique) and Julien Berta (telecommunications), turns objects into screens and transposes digital uses and interactivity to the physical world onto the product itself.
This approach has various objectives:
- First, allow brands to successfully get their messages across by attracting people’s attention – an object that ‘comes to life’ on its own is much more impressive than a mere screen, to which we’ve all grown accustomed!
- Adapt to increasingly smaller store sizes and be able to show a whole collection on just one object using projection augmented reality.
- Give brands the means to show customers what a product might look like once personalised – and simply inform them that it is, in fact, possible to personalise items.
One of SmartPixels’ customers is MoëtHenessy, which was the first to put its trust in the start-up and embark on a large-scale project (deployment in Tokyo, Las Vegas and Paris). Other customers include Nike (experimental phase on the Champs Elysées and at Les Halles in Paris) and Berluti (pilot experience in its store on Rue du Faubourg St Honoré), as well as Christian Dior, The Kooples, Swatch, Chloé and more.
The start-up will soon set out to conquer the Asian and American markets.
Business intelligence. SmartPixels also gives its clients the possibility to use its platform to manage its content for easy updating. Meanwhile, SmartPixels uses this site to collect useful data on consumer behaviour.
Support brands in digitising points of sale. Rather than positioning itself within the events sector, SmartPixels wants to offer a more sustainable service. The idea is not to install a shop window for just six months, but rather to have machines robust enough to stay in place for several years, evolving alongside collections and product launches. The ultimate goal is to assist brands in digitising points of sale.