Remember how ads in Minority Report were interactive? We've just played with a demo unit of such a system here at CES 2013; it's called Swivel digital signage, and it uses a Kinect sensor to place clothes and accessories onto passersby. The idea is that advertisers that use digital signage will not just show static images of models wearing clothes. Instead, as people walk up to the sign, they'll get to virtually "try on" the clothing. To do so, the company behind Swivel, FaceCake, scans and measures clothes in-house. When a user steps up to the advertisement, the Kinect sensor analyzes the person, chooses the appropriate size, and layers it on his body. It's not the first time we've seen the technology — FaceCake demonstrated the Swivel digital wardrobe with Microsoft at last year's CES, and it later made it into a 20-store Bloomingdale's trial last fall.
So, how does it feel to virtually slip into a dress? Well, it's certainly capable of inducing some giggles. We wouldn't necessarily rely on the tool to aid us in piecing together our next outfit, but it is a bit liberating to be able to visualize yourself anything you want — wedding dresses included — without worrying about going to a store. And, undoubtedly, the laughs that will ensue will make it well worth your while to step up to one of these ads and see just what you'd look like with a cowboy hat on. If clothing is a bit too tame, the company has also introduced Swivel Up Close, which lets you try out makeup, earrings, and glasses in the same way. In all, both systems work fairly well — it's most impressive when clothing and accessories turn in 3D space as you rotate — but making selections with gestures remains as difficult as always, and items don't always stick to your body perfectly. If you'd like to give it a try, FaceCake tells us its digital wardrobe will make it back into some Bloomingdale's stores later this year.