March 2, 2011, 3:35 PM

Polo Ralph Lauren launches an athletic iPad app

The app shows a spring collection, making full use of the tablet’s technology.

Bill Siwicki

Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce

Lead Photo

Blowing into the iPad's microphone starts a model spinning in slow motion, showing off a dress as she twirls.

Tablet PCs lend themselves well to the world of high fashion. Fashion is a very visual experience, and the large and high-resolution screens of tablets such as Apple Inc.’s iPad, along with built-in functionality like GPS, can bring fashion to life. This is why Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. has introduced an iPad app for its RLX brand. The app provides an interactive, multimedia experience showcasing the Spring 2011 collection for men and women. It is free for download in Apple’s App Store.

The app features athletes from a variety of sports demonstrating the form, style and functionality of the apparel. With roots in athletic designs, RLX creates pieces that enhance speed, build maximum power and allow for a complete expression of agility, Polo Rakph Lauren says. By using the iPad’s built-in accelerometer (technology that senses in what position an iPad is being held, and if it is being shaken), digital compass, GPS, and multi-touch screen capabilities, the RLX app becomes a unique virtual showroom that echoes the philosophy of the brand, the company says.

The tablet technology enables shoppers to interact with the athletes’ images on screen by tilting, rotating, flipping and tapping the iPad to manipulate different movements, colors and environments.

In one case, a woman in a green dress appears standing in a pirouette-like position. By blowing into the iPad microphone as prompted by the app, a consumer can get the woman to spin in slow motion to show off the dress from every angle, all accompanied by opera music. In another, shaking an iPad side to side gets two male models dressed in RLX apparel to face off using karate-like moves, with classical music in the background. Mobile design experts say when retailers get consumers to interact with a product online and see the product in as many lights possible they have a greater chance of converting consumers into buyers.

“We are always looking for new ways to break the mold of the average shopping experience and push technology as a medium,” says David Lauren, executive vice president of advertising, marketing and corporate communications. “This application places the user in the driver’s seat so they can control the technical functions of the apparel and experience the brand in a way that is visually entertaining.”

The RLX iPad app is Polo Ralph Lauren’s most recent foray into mobile commerce. The launch follows other mobile technology including the Make Your Own Rugby iPhone app, the Ralph Lauren Collection iPhone app and the use of QR, or Quick Response, 2-D bar codes.

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