• Augmented Reality 'Zero Gravity' T-shirt developed by Hela Clothing's innovation arm, Helavation.
  • Hela collaborated with Tesco on the boy's T-shirt.
  • AR technology is set to generate US$83bn in sales over the next three years.

Sri Lankan apparel manufacturer Hela Clothing has joined forces with Tesco to launch an augmented reality children's T-shirt as the UK retailer continues its work to develop and test new technologies in the apparel space.

The 'Zero Gravity' T-shirt was developed by Hela's innovation arm, Helavation, and has launched under Tesco's F&F clothing brand. Designed for boys aged 7-12 years, shoppers are able to download a Zero Gravity app that will let them explore the T-shirt print through augmented reality.

While augmented reality in clothing is not new, the pioneering feature of the Zero Gravity app is that it unlocks an exclusive astronaut game, Hela says. Players will only be able to access the game if their T-shirt is close at hand, hence creating an additional level of interactivity to the classic T-shirt.

"We see Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality as exciting trends for the future and have been building our expertise in these areas over the past year in order to make the technology more accessible to our customers," says Nissanga Warnapura, CIO of Hela Clothing.

"The Zero Gravity app will be a disruptor to the apparel space, by creating the first interactive gaming experience for children that is activated exclusively through clothing."

British retailer Tesco has been working on developing and testing new technologies in the apparel space and has previously launched similar products under its homeware brand. According to Hela, AR technology is set to generate US$83bn in sales over the next three years, and is yet to be fully explored in the clothing space.