Berlin research institute’s invention promises to shorten the time inside store fittings. It is a mirror that allows you to change clothes by simply pressing a button.

The scene is known. The couple goes shopping, the wife stops in front of all the windows, tries on bags, shoes, pants and blouses, it takes hours to make up her mind. The husband gets bored and at one point he explodes with rage. Confusion is set. It’s a fight for sure.

That will end, if it depends on the Fraunhofer Institute of Information Technique Heinrich Hertz. Researchers at the Berlin-based institute have invented a mirror that allows consumers to “change” clothes without the tiring put-and-remove of garments, thus reducing both the time spent inside the store’s dressing rooms and the time spent waiting outside.

The invention – developed by researcher Anna Hilsmann and her team – will be presented to the public at the 48th edition of the Consumer Electronics Fair (IFA), which takes place in Berlin from August 29th to September 3rd.

Green or blue?

The virtual mirror allows the consumer to make decisions with more practicality: by pressing a button he can see – without having to change clothes – in which color the garment suits him best.

The “magic mirror” actually works like a monitor. Coupled to it, a camera films the consumer’s movements second by second and records them in real time.

Through a touchscreen the consumer can choose between different design and color variations. Like computer graphics, your choices are then projected onto the images recorded by the camera, which gives the impression of “changing” the color of your clothes every time you press a button.

Testing for the virtual mirror began a year ago, when the institute’s researchers unveiled a similar invention. It was a mirror that allowed consumers to “change” their shoes. “The mirror has been installed in stores in London and Paris,” Hilsmann told DW-WORLD.DE.

Also according to the researcher, “customers were able, with the help of the mirror, to change the color, material and logo of the shoes they were trying on. In this way, they tried on models that didn’t even exist!”

Mirror, mirror of mine…

It sounds like the perfect invention, but it isn’t. The invention still has its restrictions. To the chagrin of bored husbands, the first entry into the dressing room, for example, is mandatory: “The customer has to enter the dressing room: only then can the system store the data it needs and then simulate the changes,” says Hilsmann.

The virtual mirror also does not change the length or width of the pieces. If the shirt is too tight or too loose, the mirror is not in a position to adapt it to the ideal mold.

Especially for women, an important warning: The virtual mirror does not alter features. And it doesn’t even make you lose weight.