Hudson’s Bay, Meta Invite Canadians to a Magical AR Experience at Holiday Windows

This year, Hudson’s Bay’s iconic holiday window tradition includes a Meta-powered digital extension, which brings an immersive augmented reality (AR) experience to all of Canada.

The Bay x Meta Lockup

The 5-window holiday display along Queen Street in downtown Toronto is a cherished tradition for Torontonians and visitors alike. For the first time ever, the digital extension will transport Canadians inside the windows from anywhere across the country.

To immerse themselves in the whimsy and wonder of the windows, customers just scan the QR code, point the camera at a surface and click to be transported into augmented reality.

Once ‘inside,’ device motion and screen interactions let people explore elements from all five of the holiday windows using both the front and rear cameras on their smartphones.

The windows delight passersby with animatronic vignettes:

  • Snow-Making Department: Ever wonder how snow is actually made? A bounty of magical frozen flakes come to life in this winter wonderland. Passersby can snap photos in adult and kid-sized cutouts on the exterior of our windows and join in with our snow angels.
  • Candy Cane Department: A look at how the magical treats are made and gently packaged with a robotic arm before being dropped into queue to be sent in Santa’s sleigh and delivered to the children of the globe.
  • Gifting Department: A glimpse into all of the parcels being wrapped, sorted and packed by robots working in sync to keep up with the flow of presents coming down the conveyor belt. Plus, new technology allows onlookers to press a button on the glass and one very friendly robot will want to give you a high-five and take a selfie.
  • Ornament-Making Department: A snapshot of how some signature ornaments are painted and detailed with precision and care. A giant mechanical hand carefully selects each colour to be applied before the finished crafts are sent out for people to decorate their homes.
  • Mail-Room Department: The inner workings of the technology used to scan, sort and process all of Santa’s letters. A giant computer spits out a list of names while a map of the globe gives Santa directions to find all the boys and girls around the world.

For more than 100 years, these holiday windows have been quintessential to the Toronto experience,” says Alexander Meyer, Chief Customer Officer at The Bay.

“With the digital transcendence of this year’s windows, we are creating a whole new level of connectivity for our customers, not only in Toronto but throughout Canada.”

The unique QR code can be found at select Hudson’s Bay stores, on The Bay’s social media channels, on The Bay gift cards, and on packages ordered on throughout the holiday season.