SMITH Makes Multi-Million-Dollar Investment in Future Commerce Lab

 Mixed Reality, Voice, AI, and Emotion-Sensing B2B and B2C Experiences in Development at SMITH - The Architects of Future Commerce


Augmented product visualization and purchase for head-mounted display.

SEATTLE -- SMITH, a Forrester-recognized global Commerce Service Provider, today announces its continued expansion with a multi-million-dollar investment in SMITH Labs. This investment is intended to help clients meet the demands of tomorrow’s customer by bridging the gap between imagination and outcome. As consumers adopt technologies such as AR, VR, and voice interfaces, brands must rethink how they engage with their customers in more meaningful and impactful ways. This new customer journey will provide brands the unprecedented opportunity to create highly personalized cognitive experiences that enrich engagement, create brand loyalty, and increase sales. SMITH Labs focuses on real-world solutions that embrace this convergence. See the vision here.

SMITH Labs has already delivered several firsts, including:

  • Invisible Interfaces: Blending facial recognition, voice interface, and displays to create a store that recognizes customers at a glance, speaks to them by name, and makes predictive recommendations based on their previous purchase history and preferences.
  • Holographic Retail: A mixed-reality store using Microsoft’s HoloLens, Apple ARKit, and Google ARCore connected to commercially available commerce platforms that allows customers and sellers to share a single, augmented space while exploring configurations of almost any type of product simulation.

“We’re creating new growth opportunities for brands and enhancing commerce experiences for customers with mixed reality and AI,” says Tony Steel, CEO of SMITH. “Add emotion sensing technologies and our creative visual design to the mix, and the outcomes are truly amazing. SMITH Labs enhances our existing strength in commerce with the kind of breakthrough experiences that most agencies are just starting to think about.”

The investment in SMITH Labs welds a creative technology team with over a decade of experience in emerging technology to an engineering team with a 20-year history in commerce architecture. The Labs team has developed innovative customer experiences for brands including Salesforce, Star Wars, Disney, and more.

“As a pioneering creative technology team, we’ve been pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in entertainment and gaming experiences for years,” says Jim Manduca, Creative Director of SMITH Labs. “The field of commerce desperately needs an injection of this kind of thinking right now, and we’ve now got the collective expertise to make that happen.”

“SMITH has been quietly aligning industry partnerships since April,” adds Ryan Valley, Partnership and Client Director of SMITH Labs. “It’s a perfect time for us to invite clients to spend time exploring tomorrow’s interfaces and experiences in our new space.” (Companies can contact the agency through for more information.)

Based in SMITH’s Ottawa-Gatineau office, SMITH Labs operates in a dedicated space the team has dubbed the Future Commerce Lab. More than just a laboratory, this state-of-the-art facility will allow marketers to go hands-on with store simulations demonstrating how buying and selling will transform with tools like augmented and mixed reality, voice interfaces, and sentiment analysis. (Read more about SMITH Labs at