Amazon’s latest fashion device? A virtual mirror

Amazon's virtual mirror patent
Amazon’s virtual mirror patent

It was just under a year ago Amazon revealed its Echo Look device – a selfie camera embedded with style advice. Now, it has a patent for a virtual mirror.

More specifically, according to Geekwire, it’s a blended-reality display that puts your image into a virtual scene, and then puts you in a virtual version of an outfit within it.

The patent describes the mirror as partially-reflective and partially-transmissive, with cameras, projectors, display panels and lights embedded.

“When the user views the mirror, the user sees a reflection from the mirror of illuminated objects in the scene and the transmitted images from the display device through the mirror, the transmitted images being perceived as part of the reflected scene,” the inventors say.

In other words, the face and eyes of the user are scanned so that they are seen as a reflection, while the virtual clothes and the scene behind are transmitted through the mirror. The result is a real-time blended reality look.

A beachside scene is one suggested example – showcasing the user in a swimsuit on their real body.

Geekwire adds: “It’s not clear how close the blended-reality mirror is to becoming a reality, or if it’ll actually be manufactured as a physical object. Amazon makes a practice of refraining from comment on its patents until they produce products. But last year’s introduction of Echo Look suggests that as far as the Seattle-based online retailer is concerned, blended reality is no mere fantasy.”

It also highlights the fact Amazon acquired Body Labs in 2017, a software company that uses computer vision to create accurate 3D avatars. This fits well with a blended-reality product strategy.