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Friday, April 21, 2017

New Kinds of Assistant Magic Mirrors

We examined the Mirror idea under many conditions.  For cosmetics, eye-ware, clothing.  At home and in the store.  The somewhat new idea then is having trained associates guide its use.  A Virtual assistant.  Does not save the cost of expensively trained labor problem.  Saw a similar thing being done in Asia, where having live demonstration people in the aisle is already common.   But will robotics ultimately take that function? See the Lowes' bot example.

Having a system that can really operate well at home has different challenges,  to make it work and be engaging.   The phone is the natural channel.  We tried permanently mounted mirrors.  Has challenges similar to developing sales chatbots, but with image recognition as a sensory input.   I see this has a limited potential for high end products.   But many will still want to see such products live. Could drive some to stores for a demo.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, will you leave me any shoppers at all?

This magic mirror could be a great sales tool. More likely, though, it will just siphon sales to an online rival.   By Evan Schuman, star Influencer, Contributing Columnist, Computerworld  ... 

The interplay between store associates and in-store technology has always been a delicate balancing act. When the tech helps the associate be an all-knowing partner to the shopper, it's a great thing. But when the tech is deployed so that the associate seems to just get in the way, it can ultimately undermine the in-store experience. Enter the HiMirror.

Retailers have toyed with magic mirrors before — it seems to be the retail tech idea that never dies, despite the fact that it rarely works long term — but this mirror goes much further. ... " 

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