The Kinect Shop, a fitting room with augmented reality
Following on from the success of the Xbox which uses Kinect technology (10 million copies sold worldwide), Razorfish laboratory has adapted the technology and applied it to sales. The result? The Kinect Shop, a fitting room that allows you to try all the shop products by taking advantage of the digital system. Source : Influencia
English clothing retailer Topshop had already spotted the potential of Kinect technology, installing virtual fitting rooms’ in-store: clients could enter, scan the product barcode and the room would take correct measurements to imitate the customer’s shape in 3D, virtually dressing them in their chosen clothes.
Thanks to the Kinect Shop, a multi-purpose fitting room which should be installed in several American shopping centres before the end of the year, the shopping experience goes even further. There will no longer be any need for wandering down the aisles looking for clothes: once inside the fitting room, the client can skim through all the in-store products, virtually pick them up with a swipe of the hand, put them on and look at them from different angles… all without leaving the Kinect cabin. The infrared camera is able to transform a person’s movements and turn this into a virtual character on screen. “The customer can really see what the item looks like on them, without even going into a shop!” expresses with delight Steve Dawson, the project’s engineer, in an interview with Fast Company. It’s a great way of combining the advantages of e-commerce with those of trying on clothes in-store.
The big advantage of this new-age fitting room is that it allows you to try lots of different types of products: clothes, accessories, as was already the case at clothes retailer Topshop, but also make-up, shoes… Shiseido was the first cosmetics brand to get involved in this new technology: in Tokyo, clients can sit down in front of a scanner and virtually test whether the tone of the make-up they want goes with their own skin or lipstick!
The link with the product is therefore very different to shopping online, as was explained by the laboratory during a conference to present Kinect Shop (see the summary here): “Kinect Shop allows the consumer to visualise themselves wearing their items, integrated into their look, which makes the decision of whether to buy more informed. The very natural interaction offered by the Kinect platform allows the consumer to develop a personalised relationship with the product, thanks to the use of augmented reality.”
For a true interactive clothing experience, the Kinect Shop offers its customers the chance to publish their virtual fitting on social networks, and collect opinions from friends in a matter of seconds: the photo is submitted to comments from people on the web, to help the customer make a decision.
And as Stéphane Guerry, director of the laboratory who came up with this great technology, explains, the Kinect Shop is as useful to the clients as it is the retailers. “There is a double advantage. For the consumer, of course, who can try and retry as much as they want, and then buy the item if it pleases them. But also for retailers, who will no longer need huge stocks to meet client demand: In a virtual reality the aisle is limitless.” The Kinect Shop should soon be capable of telling the client which shops have the product in stock, as well as which ones have it on sale.
In short, this innovative technology makes distance shopping easier without losing the advantages of buying in-store: it’s a way of avoiding the crowds and tiny fitting rooms while trying everything you want, when comfortably sat in your living room.