Macy's digital fitting room is coming; combines iOS 4 and Windows 7

Magic Fitting Room

According to CNet, Macy's is set to show off what happens when shopping for clothes meets the world of technology. Dubbed the Magic Fitting Room, the 72-inch mirror display will allow a person to try on clothing without the hassle of stripping down to their breeches. The "magic" is made possible through the use of an iPad and Window 7's .Net WPF Gesture Control. After selecting the desired clothing, all the user has to do is flick it towards the giant mirror and watch in amazement. LBi Inernational, the makers of the mirror, note:

"[Apple's] iOS 4 and the mirror's Windows 7 .Net WPF Gesture Control play beautfiully together."

The mirror, which also features a social experience, allows you to share your outfits through Facebook, text message, or email, will be made available for shoppers sometime in November at the 34th Street Macy's in Manhattan. Should you choose to visit the booth, you can be sure to expect a long line.

Macy's believes the Magic Fitting Room to be the future of retail. Imagine being able to visit a store that has nothing on display. You'd walk in, head straight to the fitting room, see what you'd look like in the clothes you want, place your order, and pick up the merchandise in a bag on your way out. While this scenario seems like a dream for retailers and would be enable them to save boat loads of cash in the long-run, some consumers will still prefer the old fashioned way of doing things. Macy's doesn't plan to minimize their number of stores anytime soon, but if this new fitting room works as well as they hope, we can probably expect to see more of them in the future.

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At some point in the future this sort of thing should be wide spread, though not necessarily in the way Macy's is using it to get people into their store. It's easy to make 2D/3D models taller/shorter, wider/thinner, just as it's easy to blend in a picture of your face (& in this case hands etc.), but AFAIK it's never hit mainstream popularity because those who would use it shopping on-line generally haven't wanted to bother with the hassle of measurements, photos & such. And until sales fell through the floor, retailers like Macy's had little reason to bother. Most are incredibly stingy, with underpaid employees that for the most part couldn't afford much (if any) exposure to tech, & had/have little incentive to learn & follow any required procedures, almost always creating problems if/when higher tech's adopted in-store.

At any rate, full body (or multiple) cameras could become fairly common & cheap if Microsoft's new toy (for the Xbox) takes off, & there goes the need for hassling with photos & measurements at home, or trying on clothes in-store. It wouldn't have to take up lots of room, would be more practical [you wouldn't have to ask if it made your butt look too big], might at least partly eliminate fitting by tailor or seamstress, & might even someday lead to the on-demand clothing we've seen in Sci Fi... it wouldn't be *that* hard, but things are only automated when/if labor becomes too expensive, & sadly, the people making your clothes have always been anything but.

Brilliant! This is the kind of innovation that could make a real difference to carbon emissions. Smaller stores mean less electricity and heat usage, and a saving on transporting clothing ranges to different stores, just for trying on. I'm sure they have loads of clothes that never even sell. That said, not physically trying on the product could result in a load of returns, increasing the demand for postal services...

A couple of developments that would help would be if it could be adapted to the home. People wouldn't have to travel to try on new clothes. You could also see if this cuts across to different products....

Seems interesting. Saw something like this on an episode of CSI: Miami where a girl was using this at a boutique (and got electrocuted!). Though she didn't need an iPad or any touchscreen device; she just used hand gestures (like Kinect). Saw something similar this at the Microsoft Home of the Future exhibit.

I think it's only really good for seeing how you might look in something (without having to try it on), but not whether the piece actually fits well or not. After all, these are fitting rooms, right?

Unless they can come out with more advanced tech that can pretty much size up a person's 3D shape, structure, etc. and matches it up with ideal clothing that fits well, then I still think people will continue to actually try on the clothes themselves. This magic mirror might only save a little time and make it easier to see how something will look, but the long lines for those wanting to play with it won't make it any practical.

Quikboy said,
... Saw something similar this at the Microsoft Home of the Future exhibit.

It's hardly a new idea. Nor is it all that technically challenging. IMHO people have not been ready for it plus there's not many practical applications to the tech.

Quikboy said,
Unless they can come out with more advanced tech that can pretty much size up a person's 3D shape, structure, etc. and matches it up with ideal clothing that fits well

RE: 3D, you rotate whatever you're taking a picture of... Before CAD they did drawings [blueprints] from every side, & modeling in a 3D app you still do the same thing, with different views from different angles.

Far as matching up clothing that fits your measurements ideally, the hard part's filling a database with the measurements of every bit of clothing you sell. They have that info when they design/make the patterns, so if there was a std way to save it & provide it to buyers like Macy it wouldn't be a terribly big deal. OTOH, there's no way to quantify style or good taste -- just because a bikini fits DOES NOT mean you should wear it. ;-)

onebadolepuddycat said,
I will have to ask my tailor for an opinion, I know so little about these matters.

Lol. I wish I could afford to have a tailor.

ncc50446 said,
But...Will your clothes fit? That's the only reason I try on clothes...To make sure they will fit.

Yeah me too. That's really the only reason I try something on.

ncc50446 said,
But...Will your clothes fit? That's the only reason I try on clothes...To make sure they will fit.

You also try on things to see how they'll look with your style. That's what this is for.

ncc50446 said,
But...Will your clothes fit? That's the only reason I try on clothes...To make sure they will fit.

I assume this fitting room will be the "try for your style" part. Then, when you find the items you want, you go fetch them and try them on.

ncc50446 said,
But...Will your clothes fit? That's the only reason I try on clothes...To make sure they will fit.

Maybe... Obviously if you're wearing loose fitting clothing you'd have to take those off to get any sort of good measurement -- someday the tech they use with those controversial airport scanners might be cheap enough & eliminate that part. And you are limited to what's made & on hand -- a pair of jeans cut in a way that doesn't suit you won't fit any better.

For this to work wouldn't you need the same amount of fitting rooms as the average amount of customers inside a store at the same time? Which I'm guessing is usually quite a lot? Doesn't seem feasible

cRuNcHiE said,
For this to work wouldn't you need the same amount of fitting rooms as the average amount of customers inside a store at the same time? Which I'm guessing is usually quite a lot? Doesn't seem feasible

Exactly. Though it'd lower Macy's costs for employees, since there'd be less clothes that need folding.

cRuNcHiE said,
For this to work wouldn't you need the same amount of fitting rooms as the average amount of customers inside a store at the same time? Which I'm guessing is usually quite a lot? Doesn't seem feasible

Depends... there's nothing that says you have to have a large screen -- smaller LCDs for example, with limited viewing angles could be placed throughout the store or clothing dept.s. And stores are always trying to figure out incentives to have you sign up for one of their loyalty cards -- it'd be a no-brainer to have your card call up your stored profile.

It might reduce theft, since everyone would know you're obviously on-camera, but otherwise it wouldn't be practical to have this in place of existing mirrors in your fitting rooms/cubicles, because the hassle of climbing in/out of clothes may be the only thing keeping the clothes that have to be rehung/refolded & put back on display to a minimum. But, Macy's isn't going for practicality here -- they're going for something that will A) get more people in-store, & B) provide a service that will make customers more willing to pay more.

Interesting...I never try on clothes in store as I dont know who was the last person to try it on before me. So i wash everything first since I know my size and never have to return items.

Then it's not fresh! The shirt always looks best before being washed, and it smells really nice too. Detergent makes your clothes smell clean, not the same smell as fresh clothing.

Electric Jolt said,
Then it's not fresh! The shirt always looks best before being washed, and it smells really nice too. Detergent makes your clothes smell clean, not the same smell as fresh clothing.

But did you read what he said??? The clothes you bought are most likely NOT fresh, since numerous people already tried it on.

That's why I'll try something on for size, but then go back to where I found it and grab the bottom one in the stack, since no one probably tried it on yet!

I give it 3 years till your walking around your house with tissue boxes on your feet.

The funniest thing about agoraphobia is that you actually weakens your immune system.

andrewbares said,

But did you read what he said??? The clothes you bought are most likely NOT fresh, since numerous people already tried it on.

That's why I'll try something on for size, but then go back to where I found it and grab the bottom one in the stack, since no one probably tried it on yet!

I always try on the bottom one on the stack for exactly that reason, sorry to burst your bubble

Electric Jolt said,
Then it's not fresh! The shirt always looks best before being washed, and it smells really nice too. Detergent makes your clothes smell clean, not the same smell as fresh clothing.

Then you probably also like all the other toxic chemicals (formaldehyde etc) that you've come to associate with something new. ;-)