Manchester shopping centre the Trafford Centre has today unveiled an interactive augmented reality mirror.
The ‘Magic Mirror’ uses augmented reality and built-in movement sensors which enable customers to see a real-time image of themselves with digital outfits superimposed onto their bodies.
A giant computer screen, the mirror – which was officially launched at a VIP Christmas shopping event last night – allows shoppers to change outfits by simply waving their hand, helping to diminish changing room queues.
Customers will be immediately be able to view dresses, as the centre aims to offer festive party options to female consumers. The next stage of the development, expected soon, will see hundreds of outfits available to try on.
Virtual mirrors have proved popular at other retailers, with youth fashion brand Republic reporting that its ‘MiMirror’ system has enticed customers to try it out.
Like the mirror at the Republic store at London’s Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, the Trafford Centre offering allows users to post images of themselves instantly to social networking sites for feedback from their friends prior to purchase.
Kelly Board, a 26-year-old working in fashion retail and an early guinea pig for the system, says that the technology does not overshadow the garments themselves.
“It feels a bit strange at first seeing yourself in a mirror, wearing something you are not actually wearing!” she said.
“But soon enough you get over the technology aspect, and just start admiring the clothes.”
The Magic Mirror will sit in the public area of the mall, though retailers John Lewis, French Connection, Karen Millen, Coast and Banana Republic have backed the launch, offering their own products for shoppers to virtually try on.
The Trafford Centre’s Caroline Aikman said that the main focus of the new innovation was to bring the fun back into trying on clothes.
“Of course, we could never replace the experience of picking clothes up and feeling the material, seeing how the piece flows on the body,” she said.
“But as a fashion snap-shot, we think the Magic Mirror could work wonders for people who want the choice, but don’t have the time to see it all.”
The Trafford Centre is owned by Capital Shopping Centres, which last month reported solid third-quarter sales across its portfolio.