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Birmingham's Mailbox meets virtual reality

Mailbox, Birmingham’s premium retail destination, was transformed last weekend with the addition of Spatium, a fantasy-based virtual reality experience inspired by milliner Philip Treacy.

FASHION

Birmingham's Mailbox meets virtual reality

Mailbox, Birmingham’s premium retail destination, was transformed last weekend with the addition of Spatium, a fantasy-based virtual reality experience inspired by milliner Philip Treacy.

The experience was part of a weekend of fashion and technology events held by Mailbox to mark the launch of its new integrated app.

Created by Inition and director Roland Lane, Spatium had its world premiere at the prestigious South by Southwest festival in Austin in March.

Spatium used Treacy’s designs as inspiration to create an abstract and dreamlike world accessed only through virtual reality. Developed as roomscale VR for the HTC Vive, Treacy’s original creation was rendered into a unique VR object that users could explore and interact with.

Regarded as one of the world’s most creative milliners, Treacy has designed hats for the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Lady Gaga and the Royal Family.

Inition’s chief executive Adrian Leu explained: “As retail shifts from gazing to experiencing, people have started consuming fashion in dramatically different ways and the retail rules are being completely rewritten. Fortunately, with ever more immersive technologies coming onto the market, the opportunities to develop intensely creative and engaging retail experiences are manifold.”

Elsewhere at the Mailbox, visitors were able to sample a range of wearable technology products, including heated coats, Snapchat Spectacles and smart umbrellas.

They also had the chance to visit the BBC Blue Room, an interactive exhibition showcasing the latest ideas and technology from the BBC. Here, users could view a 360 degree video of Strictly Come Dancing or use a headset to provide a fully immersive virtual reality experience.

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