Polo’s fitting room is getting an upgrade with touchscreen mirrors and RFID detection

Fitting rooms can feel like a coffin for your self-esteem. Even the kindest “Everything OK in there?” from a salesperson can sound like the buzzing of a million mosquitoes to a stressed-out shopper. Well, that was before Oak Labs‘ smart fitting room.

Now the humble fitting room mirror can be the salvation of a shopping trip. No longer is it your enemy, reflecting — and sometimes magnifying — all the little negatives about an outfit and the experience of prying oneself away from the computer and going to an actual store. Now, thanks to Oak Labs, fitting room mirrors are wising up enough to help you shop. You can find other sizes and colors of that suit that’s almost right, or by keeping the hovering salespeople at bay, summoning them, or sending them for items with a tap of its touchscreen.

The Oak Fitting room is an interactive experience that helps brick-and-mortar stores step their game up to compete with the ease of shopping online. If your house is connected, your stores should be too.

What this means for the average Joes stepping into their fitting room is a more customized experience. Say you go into a store and grab some goodies you want to try on. Once you step into the fitting room with your swag, you can set the mood — yes, these fitting rooms have mood lighting. Prepping for an evening wedding? Change the lighting to one of the options unique to the brand — in the Polo store, for instance, “evening at the polo bar” would be a good choice.

The room knows which items you brought with you to try on and the touchscreen mirror displays them. On the mirror you can run through item details, and if you try a piece on and see it’s not quite right, you can pick out a different size or color with a simple tap. When you’ve found what you want, you can check out with another tap. It’s like Oak Labs combined the privacy and ease of shopping online at home with the classic and classy retail experience, including the chance to try things on.

Emerging from the fitting room to search for a piece in a different size or color only to find it’s out of stock are annoyances of the past. Even stylist recommendations for a full look are included. And if you’re not sure about buying now, you can send an item summary to your phone via text message.

If you opted to swap out a piece, the request pops up on a sales associate’s iPad, and they can respond with a note on the mirror. No more stranger’s feet pausing outside the fitting room door; no more unwanted check-ins, like “How did you like everything?” Even better, the Oak Labs fitting room experience removes language barriers by translating requests into common languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, and Italian.

From the consumer standpoint, this is all well and good; it’s a natural extension of smart-mirror technology already available at home. For businesses, Oak Labs presents a unique opportunity to gather info about what their buyers like (or dislike). First off and most obviously, retailers will be able to see how much people love the new fitting rooms — how often they’re used, for how long, and how often that turns into sales. The fitting rooms also track SKUs and relay that info to merch teams.

This is aside from the fact that all the little things that annoy us about fitting room experiences aren’t good for the store, either; waiting for help from an associate or for them to check stock, getting dressed to go find it or the item you need, all of that can mean the death of a sale, but the Oak Labs fitting room system negates it.

Ralph Lauren’s Polo flagship store on Fifth Avenue is the first location to feature the Oak Labs Fitting Room. Other retailers will no doubt hop on board in the coming months, as Oak Labs uses its $4.1 million from Wing Venture Capital to continue growing. This massive overhaul of the way the retail experience is handled could convince this primarily online shopper to brave brick and mortars again. At least, if they have the Oak Labs Fitting Room installed.

Mobile

Exclusive: Take a look at what a next-generation 5G phone will look like

With 5G phones debuting at MWC in mere days, there is discussion about whether they will be clunky bricks that die after a few hours? A reference design from Qualcomm offerrs a glimpse of the future: This is what 5G phones will look like.
Mobile

Need a date for Valentine's Day? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.
Computing

These 30 useful apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find.
Mobile

Short on phone storage? Here's how to delete apps in Android

With everything we tend to use our phones for, it is all too easy to let your Android device get filled up with apps. Time for a clean out? Then check out our simple guide on how to uninstall apps in Android.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Mobile

Xiaomi Mi 9 will be one of the first phones with monster Snapdragon 855 chip

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.
Wearables

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…
Wearables

Galaxy Watch Active isn't official yet, but you can see it in Samsung's own app

Samsung may be about to resurrect its Sport line of smartwatches under a new name: The Galaxy Watch Sport Active. Leaks and rumors are building our picture of the device at the moment.
Mobile

Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.
Mobile

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.