Innovate UK backs ColorwayAR: next-generation of immersive technology that replaces physical prototypes with augmented reality

The footsoldiers

• ColorwayAR is a 21-month industrial research project led by Foundry, in partnership with creative consultancy, The Footsoldiers.

• Designers and creative professionals will be able to view objects in AR before physical sampling occurs, saving time and resources.

• The project incorporates visualization technology from Foundry’s Academy Award winning Nuke software.

Leading creative software developer, Foundry, is today unveiling details of ColorwayAR, a 21-month industrial research project backed by Innovate UK, which will allow creative professionals to streamline pipelines by viewing designed objects in augmented reality (AR), long before physical prototyping occurs. Foundry leads the project and can announce the involvement of partners The Footsoldiers: one of the largest independent footwear design consultancies in the world.

This next-generation technology will allow product designers to create interactive AR environments inside Foundry’s Colorway application. They will be able to share their built AR environment with internal and external stakeholders, who can then interact and collaborate within that space.

The solution will automatically transform 2D design images and presentations into a projected, interactive image that can be viewed on a flat surface. This allows creative professionals to bring their ideas to life on the desks in front of them, long before physical materials need to be involved.

ColorwayAR aims to cut down the need for physical prototypes, creating less of a burden on the supply chain and ensuring a faster time to market for new products. Designers and creative professionals will be free to focus and work on their concepts digitally, exploring their creative vision in an iterative, non-destructive way.

The solution’s intuitive system, a dynamic one-click solution, means creatives can use it without having had previous experience using traditional 3D design applications or in complex 3D modelling. ColowayAR also incorporates visualization technology from Foundry’s Academy Award winning Nuke software.


Colorway Team

Tom Fiddian, Creative Economy Lead at Innovate UK, commented: “Innovate UK believes that immersive technologies, such as AR, will be the cornerstone of the next revolution in the creative industries. We are delighted to fund this project which involves two of the UK’s leading creative companies, innovating together with AR. ColorwayAR aims to radically improve productivity within the creative design process, through the exploitation of this emerging technology. This project has cross-sector applications for the whole of the UK’s creative industries, and has the potential to disrupt a number of other high value industries, such as automotive and healthcare.”

Hector Rubio, Owner at The Footsoldiers, commented: “This technology is set to revolutionize the way that shoe designers approach work. The ability to showcase designs that could be projected right in front of you is going to speed up the whole design process, speeding selection and reducing the amount of sampling. This could take prototyping to a whole new level.”

The ColorwayAR project will initially research and develop an AR visualization tool for the footwear space, then branch out to the broader design industry including apparel, accessories and packaged goods.

Brendon Marczan, Product Manager at Foundry, commented: “AR has the potential to save creative professionals vast amounts of time during the design process. We’re excited to be bringing AR capabilities into Colorway, in order to improve collaboration and showcase projects in an entirely digital medium. AR used to be a difficult technology for creatives to use, but ColorwayAR is set to change that.”

Foundry has been granted funding from Innovate UK to work on this advanced engineering project, which commences in late 2018.