Dressing Rooms Hop On The Social Bandwagon

Interactive Dressing RoomBuried inside a USA Today story last week was a fun little tidbit showing the pervasive effect that digital socialization is having on the world – Clothing stores are now building dressing rooms that leverage the social, always-on-and-connected mentality that’s become a requisite part of being a young person today (myself included, I might add). 

At the National Retail Federation’s annual conference last week, they debuted an “interactive mirror” that takes high-quality pictures of people in dressing rooms and then broadcasts them out to friends’ computers and mobile devices. Ostensibly, the friends will then vote and offer their opinions on each outfit, which the digital dressing room will tally and report back on. They’re calling this “social retailing.” 

It sounds weird, but I can totally see something like this taking off. It’s like Hot Or Not for your friends in terms of both addictiveness and amusement. I can see being stuck at a traffic light (or waiting in a theater for a movie to begin… or standing outside smoking at a party…) and noticing I have a message from Express, where one of my friends has been trying on clothes and desperately needs to know whether she looks good in a tube-top or not. 

It’s not that strange, I suppose. This is essentially the types of communication that are going on right now, but instead of using a 160-character text message or a poor quality camera phone pick, you get a value-add device that takes high-res pictures and then actually employs a voting system that creates a better experience. 

It’s even possible that a whole new niche of social interaction could grow out of this beyond the intended uses, kind of similar to the whole picture booth madness that for a long time affected Japanese culture. If properly adapted, I can imagine huge collections of photos that employ these in-store cameras to document random life events. This might not have necessarily been what was meant for the devices, but it’s still getting people into the store, isn’t it? 

(Via Adverlab)