MEC AR Tent Viewer
An in-tents AR experience.

Back at Finger Food Advanced Technology Group, MEC approached our team to produce a photogrammetry asset ingestion pipeline and design an extended reality solution to showcase camping tents. Their rationale was simple: retail space is always at a premium, and camping tents take the most space on the store floor. Customers were also returning their tents after finding out that the tent they purchased was either too large or too small for their use cases.
"The best-selling tents are the ones that customers see on the store floor", MEC told us.
My Role
I was one of two Creative Directors on this project, helping direct and design the overall extended reality experience and user interface. I also worked with 3D artists and technical artists to determine 3D art and environment design.
The Challenge
We were tasked to build both a HoloLens application and a mobile AR experience. The Microsoft HoloLens and the Apple iPad are two completely different beasts. The former being a wearable, mixed reality headset, and the latter of course, being a mobile device. Interaction paradigms, fields of view, visual fidelity, and presentation of information were all quite different. 
We had a few product design principles to live by as we built the application: the experience had to evoke the emotion of MEC and its outdoor brand, the photogrammetry-scanned products had to be photorealistic, and the experience overall must help and inform purchasing decisions.
Mixed reality experiences are often difficult to explain on Figma when there is literally an extra dimension to explain and detail. For me, whiteboards are a quick and easy way to spatially communicate ideas, gain alignment within the internal teams during sprints, and also foster collaboration with clients when running a workshop. Whiteboards are also forgiving, giving you the freedom to quickly scrap ideas that sounded better in your head.
Referencing MEC's brand identity guidelines, we strived to create a flawless MEC experience in Sketch (later in Figma). We created a design system that referenced their iconic green, and utilized their heavy, condensed typefaces so their brand was retained and prevalent.
The 3D portion of the experience included a miniature campsite (and campfire!) to introduce people to the best-selling MEC tents, and subtle but playful transition animations when switching between products and configurations.
Intro to the experience
Intro to the experience
Configure your tent to fit sleeping bags, backpacks, and water bottles.
Configure your tent to fit sleeping bags, backpacks, and water bottles.
I was involved in two separate showcase opportunities: a HoloLens presentation for internal MEC headquarter staff, and an iPad experience in Toronto at their newly-opened flagship store.
Not only did users and customers find the applications helpful in informing their purchasing decision, but it also highlighted the power of immersive, 3D experiences: people were lying on their backs to simulate their sleeping positions, crouching down to measure headroom, and stepping over the entranceway to 'avoid' stepping into the tent body.
“We believe the future of the customer experience will be significantly changed through the integration of technology. This project with Finger Food demonstrates that belief."
David Labistour, Former CEO, MEC
“Searching through a few tents that MEC sells. Nice zoom and explore the inside and outside of a tent. Love augmented reality!"
Apple App Store
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