Smart Mirror Makes for Fast Fashion Changes
By Brad Frischkorn
Stuck over what to wear to a dinner party? ‘Smart mirror’ technology is helping to make fashion decisions as easy as changing a shirt – without even having to actually change your shirt.
The apparel shopping is beginning to change as the cloakroom gradually goes high tech and devices like MemoMi’s MemoryMirror make inroads. The device is billed as the first omni-channel platform that allows customers can get a virtual, 360-degree view of the garments they wear, and to see available color and style changes on demand.
The best part is, to create the look they desire, shoppers won't have to shed a thread.
The MemoryMirror is another example of the explosion of IoT (Internet of Things) gadgets, and one of the first aimed at the apparel industry. MemoMi’s patented technology runs on Intel’s advanced Iris graphics and Core i7 processing gear. The chipmaker’s retail solutions unit helps with promoting the machine while MemoMi handles direct sales.
The mirror stands about 70 inches tall, and looks little different from a conventional mirror. Connected wirelessly to a computer terminal, however, it allows the customer to take digital photos of themselves and their favorite outfits, and save them to the machine’s database. From there, they can be manipulated through hand and/or body gestures as thumbnails, expanded, positioned side-by-side, and overlaid with different garments. The images can also be sent immediately to friends and spouses for feedback and approval.
The machine made its first commercial appearance at Nieman Marcus’ San Francisco outlet in 2014, and has been employed at Isetan’s Shinjuku store since August, 2015.
“Ladies especially appreciate the 360-degree view feature, as it gives them an accurate picture of how a garment comports with their natural body lines,” says Intel business development senior manager Manabu Tsunori at a summer Tokyo trade show.
Mr. Tsunori offers a quick demonstration of the mirror, quickly navigating a series of commands that allows the machine to change the color of his red wool sweater to black and green and efficiently rotate the views, all within the space of a several seconds.
Other convenient functions include client registration, enabling return visits to be handled more efficiently. Meanwhile, sales staff can use the mirror to promote new items locally and through social media. Customers can then see the items and try them on virtually, sharing their favorite outfits with friends, in turn generating more brand awareness.
“The mirror is gradually finding a home among higher-end retailers, but as acceptance spreads, production costs will drop, making the mirror more and more reasonable to employ,” says Mr. Tsunori. Future iterations should be able to take advantage of software and hardware development, paving the way for increased functionality, he adds.
“It’s not hard to imagine a day when ‘digital changing rooms’ will make shopping for clothing a completely virtual experience,” he says.
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