This week, Ralph Lauren installed smart dressing rooms in its 5th Avenue store in New York—and VentureBeat says they're even more space-age than Cher Horowitz's Clueless closet. The dressing rooms, the brainchild of startup Oak Labs, feature touchscreen mirrors that, per Quartz, use radio-frequency identification (RFID) to identify and display the items being tried on. That way, customers can easily ping sales reps if they need new colors, new sizes, or new items entirely, and the reps get notifications on their iPads. The rooms also feature lighting that automatically brightens when the customer enters, and people can use the mirror to change the lighting to one of three different schemes ("Fifth Avenue Daylight," "East Hampton Sunset," or "Evening at the Polo Bar"). The mirrors have five language options.
Marina Nazario tried one of the dressing rooms, and she writes at Business Insider that "it blew my mind." She notes that the mirrors easily allow customers to browse through other items at the store—and even offer suggestions of items you might like. And they allow you to interact with a sales rep for more than just grabbing a new size—select "I just need some help!" if you simply crave human interaction. You can also have the mirror send you information about items you like if you won't be purchasing them that day. "My shopping experience will never be the same," she writes. VentureBeat notes that Prada and Macy's also have some "smart" dressing rooms, but no store has yet been able to make the experience truly cost-effective. Similar mirrors launched at the Rebecca Minkoff store in New York last year allow customers to make purchases using PayPal. (A uniform supplier figured out how much time women spend deciding what to wear.)