Full length smart mirrors can display clothing on your image, you can accessorize, you can mix and match, all in the comfort of a dressing room.
You are shopping for clothing. You go to your favorite store, you select the clothing components you want to try on, and you head to the dressing room (making certain you have not exceeded the limit of clothing items allowed backstage).
Then, if you don’t like what you brought with you, or if you are interested in trying on variations or different matched clothing, you exit the dressing room, hoping to maintain temporary ownership of that room by spray-painting your name on the door, then you find the new components and get back as quickly as possible.
Several steps in the process will be eliminated with the advent of the virtual dressing room, which are being tested by Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Smart mirrors are being tested that can show you what you would look like in different outfits as you stand, dressed, in front of the mirror.
The idea is to allow brick-and-mortar stores to compete with online shopping that can do the same thing with video chat technology.
The advantages of smart mirrors in brick-and-mortar stores is that a salesperson is available for questions, and the mirrors are full-length (whereas a person in a bedroom using a computer monitor has to stand a good distance away from the monitor to get the full length look, making it difficult to assess how the outfit looks).
The smart mirrors have the choices available in “windows’’ along the sides of the mirror and selections can be made by gesture. Pointing to the clothing of choice, those clothes appear on your body as you stand there, appearing as they would if you had the actual clothing in hand.
The mirrors can “suggest’’ add-ons, like jewelry, and can show side-by-side photos of you in the outfits you have chosen. Technology exists to allow the shopper to make a purchase through the mirror as well.
In some cases, the clothing is tagged electronically, so that the shopper can choose the outfits out in the main room of the store, and that information is directed to the smart mirror so that the shopper can quickly “change’’ between outfits.
The advantage to the department stores is two-fold: they are allowed (through permission from the consumer) to gather information on clothing choices and shopping preferences, and there is far less loss from theft when the clothing is housed inside a computer-based program than being carried in and out of dressing rooms.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.