for what it’s worth

stories and stimulus from a consumer insight consultant

Adidas Virtual Mirror tries shoes on for you

The ultimate in lazy shopping- Adidas have installed a virtual mirror in their new store on the Champs Elysees in Paris that enables customers to see what any shoe looks like on them simply by pointing at it on a computer screen.

Gizmag reports on the impressive technology-

‘Instead of trying on dozens of pairs, the customer simply stands in front of a virtual mirror. On his foot, he can see the shoe of choice (as long as it’s adidas) in the colour of choice. The virtual mirror was developed by researchers at the Heinrich-Hertz-Institut HHI in Berlin. Unlike a conventional mirror, it does not display a true reflection. Instead, a camera captures the customer’s feet and legs and displays them as a video scene on the monitor. The various shoe models
are inserted into this picture. “Thanks to the 3-D image processing techniques developed at the HHI, the software is so fast that it can follow the customer’s movements in real time,” says Jurgen Rurainsky, one of the virtual mirror’s developers.’

‘In contrast to the touch screen technique, the customer can navigate through the menu without touching anything at
all. All he needs to do is point at the screen with his index finger from a distance of approximately 80 centimeters.

What makes it all possible is a“finger-tracking” system: A stereo camera on the ceiling photographs the finger and calculates its spatial position and the direction in which it is pointing. The information is passed on to a software program that moves and activates the objects on the monitor.’

The system is made up of a series of amazing ideas culminating in what will definitely be a great attraction for the store, but beyond that may not do much for shoe sales. Although sneakers are now seen as fashion items and bought primarily for aesthetic attraction, the fit of a sports shoe is more varied than that of other shoes, meaning that even after selecting their favourite style customers will probably still need to try them on to ensure correct sizing- an area that the mirror cannot recreate.  And if you can’t be bothered to try shoes on when you’re in the store, you might as well just buy them online- saves a trip into town in the first place!

via Gizmag

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