Magical Mirror lets you try out clothes from various stores
Augmented reality (AR) technologies, which superimpose information from computers on real fields of view in real time, began to be actually used in Japan. Furutani-sangyou Co Ltd (page available in Japanese) will test their Magical Mirror which does not use magic or even AR technologies in a precise sense. It takes an image of a person standing in front of the display and, then, superimposes the images of clothes and the person. As the name suggests, it is a digital mirror that lets the shoppers try on outfits and help them find stores in an underground mall in Okasa, Japan.
The Magical Mirror has a full-HD LCD display equipped with several cameras and superimposes the images of clothes on an image of a shopper standing in front of the display. It also has a function to measure the physical constitution of a shopper and process the images of clothes so that they fit the body.
The clothes shown in the composite image are available for sale in stores in the underground shopping mall where the system is located, and the image includes information on where the clothes can be purchased and what sizes are available.
The Magical Mirror allows a shopper to “try on” up to six different items of clothing at the same time, even if they are sold at different locations, and this allows the shopper to see how combinations of clothes would look together before buying any of the items. Afterward, shoppers can go to a store and purchase the items they tried on.
Furutani-sangyou is reportedly planning to increase the number of apparel that can be tried on from six to nine by October 2010 and also add the possibility of displaying the shopper’s images taken form the sides and back by October 2011. The company also said that Magical Mirror eliminates the need to go to several stores and “enables to try a combination of clothes that are being sold at different stores.”
If they manage to produce a large number of their Magical Mirror, we might be looking at a significant reduction of time spent on finding clothes and tryouts of the same. However, they’re not alone in their niche and (beside the researchers from Germany that worked on a similar project we’re going to write about in our next article) even Microsoft plans to add a similar feature to their Project Natal.