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Futuristic Smart Mirror is Now in Ralph Lauren's Dressing Room

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(Credit: MoneyTimes) Shoppers walk past the entrance to the Polo Ralph Lauren clothing store on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City.Polo Ralph Lauren
November 24
2:41 AM 2015

Ralph Lauren clothing store in Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, New York is now equipped with smart dressing room. The dressing room designed by Oak, a tech startup company to enhance customer experience.

According to The Verge, Oak Labs is partnering with the Polo Ralph Lauren flagship store in New York City to unveil its new smart fitting room. This simple yet elegant solution can improve customer experience and benefit the retailers alike. Retailers have a seamless puchasing from customers, with data from customers preference. Oak Labs CEO Healey Chypher explained how the fitting room is designed to be inviting and engaging, "Everything we build has to be human".

Oak Labs, not to be confused with Oak Labs biotechnology research company, was founded early this year. Founded by Healey Cypher, former head of retail innovation at eBay in May, now it has raised $4.1 million in funding led by Peter Wagner's Wing Venture Capital. The company's mission is to focus on designing elegant, intuitive customer experiences that will transform how people think about shopping. 

Many retailers have tried to engage themselves into the digital age. As Venture Beat reported, in the last 15 years, a handful of retailers have played around with putting touch screens in their dressing rooms. Some prominent stores include Prada, Macy's and the latest one was Rebecca Minkoff. As so many brands compete to provide smart dressing room and interactive mirror, it seems that the technology is the entry point for fashion industry into digital world.

Prior to establishing Oak, Cypher was responsible for providing smart dressing room as an eBay project in Rebecca Minkoff New York's store last year. As his eBay's division was dissolved, Healey Cypher decided to establish his own company along with his team in eBay retail innovation division, and Oak was born.

However, the smart mirror raise a question regarding customers' privacy.  Computer World questioned this smart mirror could lead to creepy data tracking. Oak's smart mirror works by reading RFID tag on all clothing items carried in the dressing room, and automatically displays them on the mirror . Information regarding color, size and recommendation is also displayed on the mirror, and customers can interact with the mirror to select different options. Computer World noted of how the smart mirror can track each item taken into the dressing room and keep track of how shoppers are interacting with the clothes. While Oak has not yet tracked a person's purchase history, that could changed.

For Ralph Lauren, installing a smart dressing room in its flagship store will be an advantage to bolster its sales and image.

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