Amazon Blended-Reality Mirror Patent Highlights Next Gen Clothes Shopping Experience

A new patent app has turned up that shows what Amazon is working on in the clothing space, and it's quite interesting. One big challenge for Amazon when it comes to selling clothing online is allowing people to see what the clothing looks like on their own body. This isn't something that Amazon can do right now and is a big reason some shoppers cite for continued use of brick and mortar retail stores.

blended reality

Naturally, some of those users go try on the clothing in the retail store and still buy on Amazon, but other end up buying in that retail store and Amazon obviously doesn’t like that. Amazon's new patent details a method of allowing customers to try on clothing without leaving their home. The patent outlines a blended-reality mirror that uses the same sort of tech you have seen at Disney's Haunted Mansion.

The patent app abstract notes that the mirror uses images reflected by a mirror with images transmitted from a screen behind the mirror to make it look as if the user is wearing the items they want from Amazon's virtual shelves. The mirror generates "a pattern of illumination and non-illumination" on the screen and reflects the illuminated objects in the front of the mirror.

That sounds complex, but this is tech of the sort that has been around for many, many years and is commonly used in teleprompters and other devices. The inventors of the blended-reality mirror say, "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."

One of the coolest things about the mirror is that it would allow the user to change the scene they are looking at in the mirror background. That means if you are trying on new jackets, you could make a snow background. If you are trying on swimsuits, you could change the background to a beach scene. Sensors in the mirror track the face of the user and would give a realistic image from any direction.

Interestingly, Amazon purchased Body Labs back in October of 2017 and the tech that company had plays right into this new blended-reality offering. A patent app certainly doesn't mean that this mirror will come to market, but a giant Alexa-powered mirror for the bedroom that lets you virtually try on clothing without leaving your home sounds exactly like something Amazon would want to make.