Amazon's blended reality mirror mixes reflections, virtual clothes, and digital scenes
See if that fedora would work on the beachBy Rob Thubron
Amazon has been pushing into the lucrative fashion industry over the last few years, and a newly granted patent suggests it isn't done combining the worlds of clothing and technology. Its smart mirror not only uses blended reality to place virtual clothes over someone's reflection, but it can also place virtual scenes in the background.
GeekWire reports that the "Blended Reality Systems and Methods" was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on January 2. It mixes cameras, displays, and projectors to create the futuristic device that blends real images with CGI.
We're rarely sure how an item of clothing will look in a given situation, but the smart mirror could solve this problem. It shows different environments, such as offices or dinner parties, by digitally overlaying them on the mirror's background, all while the wearer and their virtual clothes remain in the foreground.
The cameras and face/body tracking tech should ensure that the digital clothes stay on a body no matter how much they move around, and the whole scene should look convincing no matter the viewing angle.
It's likely that a portion of the technology comes from Amazon's acquisition of startup Body Labs last October. The company boasts AI, computer vision, and body modeling expertise, and aims to create true-to-life 3D body models to support various b2b software applications, according to TechCrunch.
There's no guarantee the mirror will ever become a real product, of course, but the Body Labs buyout suggests it's got a better chance than most patents.
After launching its in-house fashion line in 2016, Amazon unveiled the Echo Look--- an Echo speaker that gives AI-powered fashion advice---last year. The company also introduced a try-before-you-buy option called Prime Wardrobe in 2017.