Intel-powered Digital Mirror Transforms the Retail Experience

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of us all? While that question was once posed to a magic mirror in the fairy tale Snow White, it is now being answered in retail stores around the world.

Today, the “real” MemoryMirror* platform is revolutionizing the in-store shopping experience, while creating a bridge between the physical and digital worlds. It also is providing retailers with real-time analytics that can be used to refine customer experiences and increase sales.

About one thousand mirrors will be in stores worldwide by the end of 2018, and that number is expected to grow in 2019 as the per unit cost comes down. “We are working with Intel and our other partners to decrease the price of manufacturing in order to make our technology even more scalable,” says Salvador Nissi Vilcovsky, founder & CEO of MemoMi Labs, which developed the mirror.

The Technology

MemoMi’s digital mirror uses artificial intelligence and augmented reality to give shoppers the ability to do everything from comparison shop to share their experience on social media. Moreover, customers can use hand gestures to change product colors and backgrounds, and initiate video conference calls using the mirror’s functionality.

Our technology uses distortion correction to create a convincing mirror experience that looks realistic from any distance or perspective.

Salvador Nissi Vilcovsky, founder & CEO of MemoMi Labs.

“AI and virtual reality might not be taking over completely, but they are starting to emerge,” says Matthew Shaw, CEO of the National Retail Federation. “And we are at the point where consumer expectations are rising and influencing how retailers who want to stay on top must interact with their customers.”

The digital platform is providing customers with interactive experiences that drive both sales and satisfaction. “One of the first problems that we tried to solve is the problem that customers couldn't see themselves from every angle,” says Vilcovsky. “Our technology uses distortion correction to create a convincing mirror experience that looks realistic from any distance or perspective.”

The mirror enables a shopper to assess a 360-degree view of how, for instance, a pair of pants fit or different models of sunglasses look. Colors and styles can be changed virtually — and the mirror remembers everything, so that different styles can be compared side-by-side. The view from the back, for example, is captured as a short video when a customer turns full circle in the mirror. Fitting sessions recorded by shoppers can be reviewed, shared, and re-visited on demand.

In fact, the MemoryMirror* also serves as a powerful customer relationship manager for stores. The mirror not only “remembers” an individual’s preference in the moment, it stores that data. That means a shopper can try on a pair of shoes one day at a store in Paris, and then go into a store in New York the next week where that browsing activity is remembered.

MemoMi has more than 20 patents related to distortion correction technology. The mirror also performs real-time tasks such as facial recognition, taking body measurements and managing multiple cameras. This SaaS solution runs on mirrors equipped with state-of-the art hardware. The emergence of small, powerful PC devices, such as the Intel® NUC Mini PC, helped facilitate the MemoryMirror* technology.

The Insights

While the MemoryMirror* is an IoT-connected device, it also can run on its own. But when connected to the Cloud, the mirror opens a window of opportunity for retailers to better understand customer behavior and preferences.

For brands, we're actually solving a bigger problem than we are for customers.

Salvador Nissi Vilcovsky, founder & CEO of MemoMi Labs.

MemoMi’s mirror is an example of how Intel® technology is being used to capture data-driven insights. “Artificial intelligence is going to be a foundational technology for the future of retail,” says Shailesh Chaudhry, director of business strategy for retail at Intel. “Knowing what customers are interested in, getting those products in front of them at the right time, and removing all friction from the sale requires a powerful mix of connected devices and analytics software.”

In addition to its impact on customer experiences, the digital mirror is a data gold mine. “For brands, we're actually solving a bigger problem than we are for customers,” says Vilcovsky. “The problem for stores has been they can’t tell what's happening in their stores. We're actually bringing to the table a new generation of in-store analytics, which enhances the relationship between brands and their customers.”

Store associates with access to a customer’s history, for instance, can offer product samples based on individual preferences or make recommendations that reflect a customer’s shopping history. One of the early adopters of MemoMi’s technology was Neiman Marcus. But now, the MemoryMirror* has been embraced by dozens of luxury retailers, such as Sephora, Tom Ford, L’Oréal Estee Lauder Group, and Finish Line. Next on the horizon, the company is working on smart home applications.

“The next step is deploying this technology for e-commerce in the home,” says Vilcovsky. “But nothing will replace the physical store experience, where you can touch and feel the materials. I think it will complement rather than replace that experience.”