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H&M Magic Mirror

How H&M’s magic mirror makes you star for a day

We’ve all caught ourselves in the reflection of a mirror at a retail outlet. But what happens if, when you glanced at it, the mirror asked you if you wanted it to take a selfie? Can retailers turn this interaction into future e-commerce sales?

Meet fashion giant H&M’s Magic Mirror, an interactive mirror display that does just this and lives at its flagship store in New York City’s Times Square — the biggest H&M store in the world.

The original magic mirror, of course, was conceived in the fairytale of Snow White.

Fortunately, we’re not living in 19th century Germany and today a bit of vanity doesn’t lead to an evil witch’s grisly end. Thanks to smartphones, selfies and social media, it can actually be fun and even profitable to share your snaps on Instagram.

But H&M’s primary goal was to boost customer engagement and it wanted an in-store solution that would match up with consumers’ thirst for ‘Instafame’, as well as more modest forms of social media sharing.

H&M created its AI-powered Magic Mirror in collaboration with Ombori Phygrid, Microsoft and Visual Art.

Today, customers can walk by an H&M Magic Mirror and will be prompted by a Microsoft Azure-powered voice assistant that offers them the choice of discussing fashion tips or to take a selfie, which the system renders on the cover of an H&M magazine.

Customers converse with the Phygrid-made Magic Mirror for it to take a selfie from the screen. They can then download the magazine cover on their phone by scanning a QR code to share a link with friends.

H&M also integrated the display with its fashion catalogue, allowing customers to browse products on the large H&M screen or their smartphones.

The product showcases the possibilities for retailers to combine cloud, edge devices, artificial intelligence, and interactive display technologies to engage customers in a way that creates memorable experiences that can be shared on social media.

H&M’s Magic Mirror struck a chord with customers: some 86% of them who took a selfie scanned the QR code and 10% of customers who scanned the QR code signed up for promotional emails.

The Phygrid Magic Mirror was covered in the press in more than 25 countries, reaching over 150 million people.