The days of taking blurry sunglass selfies at the department store accessories counter might soon be in the rearview mirror.
This week, Neiman Marcus locations in San Francisco and Palo Alto, Calif., welcome Sunglass Memory Mirrors. The “mirror,” which is really a digital screen equipped with a special camera, records images and videos of the customer, letting them compare side-by-side images of them wearing sunglasses. The customer can share them on social media or by e-mail, or save them to access later. The screen looks like a large mirror on the counter, and the interaction is comparable to taking a photo with a smartphone or sharing a filtered video on Snapchat.
The device was created in partnership with eyewear giant Luxottica Wholesale NA and using technology from Palo Alto-based MemoMi. The mirror fittingly launches in Silicon Valley, but later this month will come to Neiman Marcus locations in Dallas (where the company is based), Houston and Newport Beach.
While the sunglass mirror is convenient for the customer, the new technology is an effort to encourage the Neiman Marcus shopper to engage with Luxottica’s sunglasses and to blend physical shopping with the opportunities afforded by digital technology. Previously, innovation in eyewear shopping has been heavily seen online, but this is a direct investment in the physical store.
“The Sunglass Try-On Memory Mirror adds the wit and whimsy back to eyewear shopping,” said Scott Emmons, head of the Neiman Marcus Innovation Lab. “The ability to see how a frame looks from every angle and instantly share it with one’s social network reiterates Neiman Marcus’ objective to continually surprise and delight.”
Although the device was created in partnership with Luxottica, it works with any product — sunglasses, accessories or otherwise.
This follows the introduction of the full-body Memory Mirror, also created with MemoMi, that Neiman Marcus began installing in some stores in January, which lets customers view, share and save 360-degree images while they try on merchandise. The large mirrors are installed in 19 Neiman Marcus locations.
Neiman Marcus Group’s iLab in Dallas has introduced a range of experimental products that bring technology to the physical shopping experience, such as interactive tables in shoe salons and an app called “Snap. Find. Shop.” that uses visual search to find items on neimanmarcus.com.
Going forward, MemoMi chief executive officer Salvador Nissi Vilcovsky said the technology could have a range of applications and options, from makeup try-on tutorials to the ability to detect, which product the customer is wearing and making recommendations based on face shape. The hard part, he said, was creating the technology with a camera that allowed the screen to mimic a mirror without the distortion that occurs with a camera at the top of a mirror.
MemoMi’s mirror technology is also in use in Uniqlo, where a “magic mirror” screen digitally manipulates a customer’s reflection to change the color of apparel that the customer is wearing.