BOSTON — In this selfie-obsessed era, the dressing room has become yet another place to construct a fantasy image. Enter Debut, a new multimedia lighting system from OSRAM Sylvania that combines video, sound and theatrical lighting to create Instagram-worthy backdrops in dressing rooms.
At the touch of a tablet screen, a shopper can choose a desired image, have it projected across a nine-by-10-foot bank of monitors and see exactly how the lighting would impact her outfit’s color and sheen. She can call up images of a beach, a club, flickering candlelit, city street scenes, the red carpet and more.
“It makes sense to me. I sell a ton of swimwear, but in two months there will be snow on the ground here. The beach [scene] will help the customer see how prints and colors react in authentic lighting and work with her skin tone,” said designer Daniela Corte, whose Newbury Street store here is the first in the country to install and test the technology. Debut was developed in Sylvania’s Boston-area research facility. Corte, who has had her swimwear featured in Sports Illustrated, wants to invite the editorial team down to test suits against Debut.
There’s also an emotional component: When Corte puts the beach image up on screen — replete with sunshine-inspired lighting and audio of sloshing waves — the dressing room seems distinctly more appealing. Though sound and image create the mood, the real advance is in the lighting. Technicians developed a proprietary algorithm to reproduce spectral data gathered from live locations. Imagine brides testing potential wedding dresses in accurate chapel lighting.
The system in Corte’s shop is a prototype. Accordingly, it’s cumbersome. There are 26 light boxes positioned with clamps, a customer-interface tablet on a podium and the bank of monitors. Ultimately, the system can be customized and built-in, said Jeremy Spaulding, manager of research and innovation for OSRAM Sylvania. Pricing will be dependent on a client’s specifics needs.
Corte says Debut has both technical merits for specific purchases but also a novelty factor, adding excitement to a pop-up shop or girls-night-out event.
“Another thing to bring people into the store instead of shopping online,” she said.