Great news: ‘Smart mirrors’ in fitting rooms now to offer unsolicited fashion advice

Great news: ‘Smart mirrors’ in fitting rooms now to offer unsolicited fashion advice

[Ed. – Well.  Not if they know what’s good for them.  Mirror, mirror, on the wall — ever seen what a .357 round can do to y’all?]

Imagine a fitting room with a “smart” mirror that suggests jeans to go with the red shirt you brought in. It snaps a video so you can compare the image side-by-side with other colorful shirts you try on. It might even show you how the shirt will fit without you having to undress.

A handful of primarily upscale retailers, including Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, are testing versions of this high-tech fitting room. And experts say the masses will be able to try these innovations at more stores in the next few years as the technology gets cheaper.

This trend is a way stores aim to catch up to online rivals like Amazon.com that are able to gather information on which items shoppers browse and use that to recommend other products. The new technology that enables physical stores to collect much of the same data as online retailers raises privacy questions, but executives say customers are offered a choice and the data is protected.

Stores are tapping into the significant role the often-forgotten fitting room can play in purchase decisions. While 36 percent of store browsers wind up buying something, 71 percent of shoppers who try on clothes in the fitting room become buyers, according, Paco Underhill, a retail consultant. Yet the typical fitting room isn’t always inviting: Only about 28 percent of shoppers even walk into a dressing room of a typical clothing chain, Underhill says. …

The patented MemoryMirror from a Palo Alto, California-based company called MemoMi is one of the most advanced in this so-called virtual dressing, a feature that’s expected to be tested in U.S. stores later this year. The mirror is outfitted with sensors, setting off motion-triggered changes of clothing. MemoryMirror uses pixel technology that captures even small details such as a wrinkle on a skirt as it moves.

Even for those trying on the clothing, the mirror also doubles as a video camera, capturing a 360 degree view of what an outfit looks like and making side-by-side comparisons. Shoppers can replay the video and share with friends.

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