Editor's pick technology

Neiman Marcus trials smart memory mirror – NRF Big Show


You might remember the Intel MemoMi mirror from the NRF Big Show in 2014 – a smart device for the fitting room that captures 10-second clips of shoppers in their new looks.

Using patented “perspective-distortion correction” technology, it shows 360-degree back and side views of each outfit, and “remembers” each of them so they can be reviewed from the mirror interface afterwards.

It was back again this year, and this time with Neiman Marcus signed as a partner.

The US department store is currently trialling the mirror in its Walnut Creek store in California, where it’s been receiving incredibly strong feedback, says Scott Emmons, enterprise architect within information services at the company’s innovation lab, also known as its iLab.

“We loved this because it can give an amazing experience for the customer as well as real insight into what she wants to buy,” he told me at the NRF show earlier this week. Indeed the benefit of the mirror for retailers is being able to gather data on things like demographics, body measurements and fit, as well as preferential styles and conversion rates on different pieces.

In an additional use for the mirror, Neiman Marcus also found its sales associates wanted to create an account where they can record videos of models in new looks and send them directly to shoppers to take a look at. Emmons says doing so is already leading to conversions, proving the device also has potential as a sales tool.

Neiman Marcus is planning to follow up on the pilot with two more stores in San Francisco and Dallas.

“We will spend a few weeks learning what’s working and what isn’t, and make a decision if it is to be a chain-wide roll out from there or not. I’m pushing for it to be that; it’s a really exciting project,” said Emmons.

According to WWD, Neiman Marcus is also running another test in a number of stores with Apple iBeacon technology, enabling shoppers to receive notifications on their mobile devices regarding discount promotions, new product arrivals, designer appearances and other special events.

Both technology introductions at Neiman Marcus are part of a wider trend evident at NRF’s Big Show towards the connected store or the internet of things. Alongside beacons and smart fixtures were insights on clienteling solutions, analytics and a series of innovations spanning touchless checkouts to connected fitting rooms.


MemoMi MemoryMirror captures attention in retail tech space


Gesture control, connected fitting rooms and cognitive computing all had their place at this year’s Retail’s Big Show from the NRF in New York, but it was a smart mirror within the Intel booth that particularly stood out.

Created by MemoMi, this “MemoryMirror” allows users to capture 10-second clips of themselves trying on various outfits through an interactive body-controlled experience. Using patented “perspective-distortion correction” technology, it shows 360-degree back and side views of each look, and “remembers” each of them so they can be reviewed from the mirror interface afterwards.

Rather than the user having to retry pieces on, different looks can be compared side-by-side through a split screen option, while the colour of garments can also be changed – a video below from 2013 shows the platform in concept. Each result can also be instantly shared with friends via social media, as well as saved to the MemoryMirror smartphone app. That app also has an option to purchase post-visit if the user so decides.

All in, it helps enable a more immersive digital experience in the physical store space, but for retailers the additional beauty of it lies in the valuable data it helps generate.

This (opt-in) shopper information varies from demographics, body measurements and fit, to preferential styles, as well as conversion rates on different pieces. It also offers the potential for personalised communications; notifications sent afterwards on similar styles for instance, or coupons for items tried on, but not purchased.

“MemoryMirror is the only multichannel retail technology that makes trying on clothes digital, interactive, and social,” said Salvador Nissi Vilcovsky, founder and CEO of MemoMi. “Since MemoryMirror ‘remembers’ each customer interaction, it not only allows fashion retailers to provide an exciting in-store, web, and mobile shopping experience, but to collect valuable data on customer behaviors and preferences.”

MemoryMirror is in beta trials with a series of large retailers around the world. Macy’s is one example of a department store that showed particular interest when at the show, MemoMi said.

Other highlights on the tech floor of Retail’s Big Show included IBM Watson and The North Face’s personal shopping assistant; Kohl’s connected fitting room from Accenture and Microsoft; and eBay’s digital storefronts with Rebecca Minkoff, Toms and Sony.