Ralph Lauren and a new startup called Oak Labs have debuted the interactive fitting room of the future, lessening once more the distance between fashion and technology. Over the coming months the French fashion house is planning to replace its fitting room standard mirrors with 16 interactive mirrors designed by the German tech startup Oak Labs. Such mirrors will not only allow Ralph Lauren customers to tap for assistance, but will also use their innovative RFiD chips (an Oak Labs’ software) to automatically detect each piece of clothing they will be bringing into the fitting rooms. Moreover, it will be also possible to request different items to try on without even leaving the fitting room.
Ralph Lauren’s customers will be also able to use the interactive mirror to choose the lightening setting they prefer, as well as the language setting (we have a polyglot here! The mirror speaks various languages, including Portuguese, Japanese, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin). Of course, the “smart” mirror will always be ready to give us style recommendations.
Both Oak Labs cofounder and chief executive Healey Cypher and Ralph Lauren’s headquarters think this is the future of retail. Regarding their collaboration, Ralph Lauren’s executive vice president recently told WWD: “Both technology and the human touch are equal elements of Polo’s personality, and our customers should experience them seamlessly whether they are in the stores or shopping online. From the day the Polo flagship opened on Fifth Avenue, we wanted it to connect with the customer and that meant emotionally and digitally. Fully wired fitting rooms and the digital displays for PoloTech blend in seamlessly with the fireplaces and Ralph’s Coffee shop.”
So, why does Ralph Lauren (or any other fashion house) need interactive mirrors in the fitting rooms? As Cypher pointed out, customers are more prone to purchasing an item if they find it in the size and color they want. The Oak Labs mirrors will help Ralph Lauren’s associates in the shops to make their clients more satisfied, as well as more likely to actually buy what they have been trying on in the fitting rooms.
“On the flipside, if someone goes into a fitting room there is a two out of three chance they will make a purchase — and if someone talks to an associate, the chance they buy is five times more. It doesn’t dehumanize it, but re-humanizes it.” Cypher said.
The move is surely going to increase Ralph Lauren’s sales, as well as confirm the label’s position as a fashion innovator. Through the PoloTech smart t-shirt and 4-D holographic water projections at the unveiling of their womenswear SS 2015 collection, in fact, Ralph Lauren has always proven to be a tech enthusiast.
Photos courtesy of WWD