It's a big screen, so maybe it's digital signage... but it's interactive so maybe it's a kiosk. However you classify it, though, a new device on display at Adidas's Paris store (more of an experience boutique, really), is really cool.
First noticed by Gizmag, the system uses a complex array of cameras, image processors and green-screen technology to track a customer's motions in real-time. Then, instead of presenting a true reflection, the "mirror" digitally paints shoes (Adidas, of course) on top of the customer's feet. The upshot is that a customer could conceivably stand in front of the mirror and virtually try out dozens of different styles and colors without having to send an attendant into the back room until the final selection has been made.
Another version of the software also lets the user simulate trying on different sportswear as well as shoes, upping the virtual shopping ante.
While there's undoubtedly a "cool factor" to the tech, there are a few practical purposes that could see it getting deployed more broadly. First, if it works properly, it could really speed up the process of trying on shoes (and clothes), make it much more efficient (since you'd need fewer salespeople). Second, you could dramatically reduce inventory space, allowing the shopper to purchase the shoes and have them shipped. While there's obviously a big benefit to letting the customer actually try on the product (since feet can be fickle), there's no reason to keep five different colors of the same exact shoe on hand. Similarly, if it takes off, this could be a good way to try out some basic product line extension, allowing customers to order specialty colors and styles that wouldn't normally make sense to physically stock due to low turnover.
MIT's Advertising Lab also has a brief post about it, as well as links to past articles that have used mirrors and screens to overlay virtual items onto real-world reflections.
Tags: Adidas, virtual reality, interactive kiosk, digital signage