Business

DEMO: FaceCake offers Jetson-like future of fashion

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FaceCake is one of 53 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Spring 2011 event taking place this week in Palm Desert, Calif. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.

FaceCake revealed at DEMO today a virtual, real-time fitting room that allows users to try on outfits and accessories without ever taking their clothes off. It’s kind of like a dressing room mirror on steroids.

Just as Judy Jetson of the cartoon show “The Jetsons” could test out different outfits in her virtual mirror, FaceCake’s product, called Swivel, allows customers to view themselves in different outfits in full-motion, 3D and real time. It’s not unlike how Microsoft Kinect works to mirror a user’s body and motions, or how augmented-reality apps like Google Goggles overlay virtual images over the real world.

Shoppers can quickly pair different items of clothing with each other, and the clothes will move or “swivel” with the user as they model items. The company’s vice president of business development  Tom Chamberlin says the product’s real-time aspects trump competitors like My Virtual Model. Swivel, he says, could also become a marketing tool for clothes sellers.

“The fitting room is such a powerful tool for retailers. [Consumers] are 71% more likely to buy than if they hadn’t gone into a fitting room, and when they do buy they typically buy twice as much stuff,” Chamberlin says.

Women can also use the technology to try on makeup and dermatological products like wrinkle-filling Restylane, and retailers can suggest clothing items that might be in parts of the store the shopper wouldn’t have otherwise visited. Swivel will have some social sharing aspects, in which users can show outfits to friends and create their own “look book.” Retailers may also opt to include badges, promotions or other functions that take advantage of using social media and technology to advertise.

“We’re looking for brands and retailers to partner with us and get them premier shelf space inside the closets of hopefully millions and millions of folks who will use this as an alternative to putting something on, taking something off,” Chamberlin says.

The company intends to offer Swivel in retail stores. Different looks from different parts of the store can be made available in Swivel, allowing users to try on a variety of different items in sections they may not normally visit. The company is looking to launch the product June 1. It also wants to make available a home version of the product.


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