Archive for May, 2010

Walmart Testing “Virtual Mirror”

“Mirror, mirror on the wall…..”

While not directly related to virtual events yet, the technology being used in Walmart’s Virtual Mirror test may be applicable to virtual events if it proves out.

According to Planet Retail, Walmart has implemented a cosmetics system called `the Walmart virtual mirror’ that uses a barcode reader and a digital camera for the virtual application of makeup. Technology is being provided by IBM, Sprint and EZface.

The customer looks into the camera and takes a picture creating a virtual image of her face which she can then add makeup to by scanning the barcodes of various makeup products. After the customer makes her selections, the image is saved and E-mailed to her.

Walmart’s trial is not limited to instore, web or mobile, theoretically allowing the trial to run across all three retail channels. When utilized during a visit to the Walmart.com website, the shopper clicks on a cosmetic item for the virtual application and will not need the barcode scanner that’s used for an instore test.

This technology has the potential to play a role in the inevitable convergence of virtual events and online retailing.