New Visualisation System Enables Virtual Jewellery Design To Be Viewed In Real-Time 3D
Hatton Garden-based Holts Lapidary, are known in the industry for their gemstone expertise, lapidary skills and the creation of bespoke gemstone jewellery for both manufacturing jewellers and private clients. Holts needed to be able to increase sales of gemstones and respond faster to their customer needs in a very competitive market-place, by providing themselves with the capability to trial jewellery designs without the cost of producing prototypes.
The company turned to expertise within the Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre (JIIC], a part of the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) for assistance. They needed to develop existing Computer-Aided Design (CAD) systems and software in order to create a new augmented reality technology, so sought a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to help achieve this.
Holts initially approached the JIIC team to assist in their objective of wanting to increase sales of gemstones through the development of a tool that provides customers with the ability to trial jewellery designs ‘virtually.
The project kicked off with six months of intense research into appropriate software and a review of the world’s leading technology research centres and companies for a potential solution. As the project progressed, it was highlighted that the virtual sales facility for Holts could, in fact, have further commercial applications both online and in store, and across multiple retailers.
A joint venture was subsequently set up with Inition, a company at the centre of 3D expertise and technology, to continue the research and development of the new visualisation tool. A new company, ‘Holition’ was formed to bring the product to market with the KTP Associate, Lynne Murray, as Head of Design. The work done by the KTP Associate Lynne Murray, to set-up the new company; was recognised in 2009 when she received a prestigious Business Leaders of Tomorrow award.
- The visualisation system allowed customers to view a virtual design on their own body in real-time 3D, both in-store and online.
- The KTP programme established Holts as an innovative company through the introduction of a pioneering product to leading jewellery retailers.
- Partnership with Inition resulted in a new round of funding; which helped to ‘cellophane wrap’ the product, improving its marketability.
- Holition has continued to develop new products for major clients including Tissot and Boucheron, and their product offer is proving very attractive to other global players in the jewellery/luxury goods industry.
The Associate researched the market to establish how to position the company and assess whether there was real opportunity. This involved profiling customers, analysing competitors, visiting trade shows and exploring technology developments worldwide. She combined commercial awareness with an entrepreneurial attitude and strong creative flair.” – Jason Holt, Managing Director, Holts Lapidary