Fast Company posted a video yesterday (Feb. 25) in which host Jason Feifer gets a demonstration of the interactive mirrors at fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff's New York City boutique.
The demo is presented by Uri Minkoff (pictured above), cofounder and CEO of Rebecca Minkoff, who (as is revealed in the interview) comes from a background in software design.
"Every step of the way, I took this kind of tech-first initiative," said Uri Minkoff. "'Who's the end user? What does the funnel look like?' It's been this tech focused way to building a fashion company. It gives us kind of an x-factor."
Customers can use the showroom mirrors to order a hot drink and set up a profile that notifies them via text message when desired clothes are ready to try on.
In the video, Uri Minkoff shows Feifer the interactive mirrors, which were co-developed with eBay. Feifer is able to order a green tea, which is delivered to him. He also receives a text message when the clothes he wants to try on are available in the dressing room.
En route to the dressing room, Feifer grabs a jacket, "just to keep the system on its toes," he says. Upon entering the dressing room, the mirror pops an image of the jacket on the screen: It sensed the jacket's arrival, presumably via RFID.
Changeroom mirrors sense when new items are brought into the stall. Customers can select different sizes to try on and the mirror will indicate the sales associate's arrival time.
Uri Minkoff then shows Feifer how to ask for a different size in that jacket, simply by selecting a different size on the mirror, below the jacket image -- truly a seamless integration of online in-store. Immediately, a headshot of a sales associate pops up on the right margin, indicating that she will be there in two minutes. "Kind of like Uber, right?" asks Uri Minkoff. "Exactly like with Uber," Feifer replies.
Having read much hype about the Rebecca Minkoff/eBay mirrors (Nordstrom is reportedly working with eBay on similar mirrors), and without ever having seen them in action, I was honestly impressed with the technology. It appears well thought out, simple, user friendly, and most importantly: It makes it easier to shop for clothes. It also serves as a great differentiator for Rebecca Minkoff and a wicked source of publicity (hence the Fast Company coverage).
These mirrors are better suited to small, upscale boutiques, as opposed to chaotic, multi-floor clothing stores, though.
These mirrors wouldn't work everywhere, however. They're better suited to a smaller, upscale boutique like this one, versus a chaotic, multi-floor clothing store like Topshop or H&M. Besides, if the clothing is cheap and customers are bringing in piles of it, I don't think the ROI (let alone concierge-like customer service) is there in the first place.