The future of fashion: Amazon patents smart mirror
Amazon was granted a patent for a blended reality mirror, which could superimpose virtual clothing onto your reflection. (Credit: US Patent and Trademark Office/CNNMoney)
By Kaya Yurieff
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Amazon's latest patent hints at what it might be like to get dressed in the future.
On Tuesday, the tech giant was granted a patent for a blended reality mirror, which could superimpose virtual clothing onto your reflection. It would also be capable of placing you in a virtual scene, like a beach or a restaurant, to match an outfit with the occasion.
The mirror would use a combination of mirrors, lights, projectors, displays and cameras to project the image of a certain setting onto the display, according to the patent.
"These visual displays can be used to alter scenes as perceived by users, for example, by adding objects to the scene that do not actually exist," reads the patent.
While it's unclear where the virtual clothes come from, this could potentially be a new way for Amazon to sell more apparel. In recent years, the company has rolled out several of its own in-house fashion labels, such as James & Erin women's clothing and Franklin & Freeman men's dress shoes.
It's also not clear whether the mirror is currently in development at Amazon, but it hints at where the company's mind is at. Amazon declined to comment.
While the smart mirror may seem like an unusual move for Amazon, it could serve as an extension for its newly launched product Echo Look ($200). The device serves as a style assistant to help you decide what to wear. It has a voice-controlled camera that snaps pictures of you in different outfits and works alongside an app.
After taking photos of you in two outfits, the Echo Look's built-in Style Check tool decides which one looks best on you. It uses a combination of machine learning technology and human fashion specialists.
Other retailers are also featuring smart mirrors in stores. For example, Rebecca Minkoff's connected store concept has mirrors that double as touchscreens, allowing customers to browse looks, colors and sizes. Nordstrom has also tested smart mirrors in fitting rooms.