- Vivian Hendriksz |
London - The future of retail is closer than one would think as US retail giant Amazon filed a US patent application for 'blended reality' mirror. The technology in the patent could be used to create a virtual reality-enabled mirror which would offer customers the opportunity to try on any outfit from the comforts of their home.
The blended-reality mirror would use a system of cameras, projectors, displays, mirrors, and lighting which can add layers of pixels to a moving image on a screen based on a real-time basis. "The display device can generate a pattern of illumination and non-illumination on the screen so that the illuminated portions of the screen substantially transmit through the mirror," said Amazon in the patent filing.
For example, the technology could be used to create a beachside scenery in which the user's body could be superimposed into wearing virtual attire. Face-tracking sensors, which are able to locate the viewers' eyes and features, as well as advanced software, would create a blended-reality in which the user would be able to view a realistic image from any angle.
"When the user views the mirror, the user sees a reflection from the mirror of illuminated objects in the scene and the transmitted images from the display device through the mirror, the transmitted images being perceived as part of the reflected scene," added the patent filing. According to the patent filing, the effect created by the blended-reality mirror is a more modern version of the "Pepper's Ghost" mirror trick previously used by magicians as far back as the 19th century.
The magic mirror builds on Amazon's Echo Look fashion 'style assistant.' Launched last May on an invitation-only basis, Echo Look incorporates Amazon's voice-commanded Alexa AI assistant by letting users take a photo of their outfit. It also remembers favorite looks and helps users decided between outfit choices based on current fashion trends.
News concerning the patent filing comes a few months after Amazon acquired technology start-up firm Body Labs. The company specializes in 3D-body scanning and modeling software for different applications, such as fashion avatars.
Image credit: Amazon Illustration via USPTO