Tired of fighting it out with other shoppers at the store? Tired of slow e-commerce web sites? The Magic Wardrobe, a research prototype developed by Accenture, is a piece of smart furniture that would allow people to use their actual wardrobe as a starting point in online shopping.
It engages in silent commerce, working in the background to help you find the next thing you want.
Here's how it works. As you put different items away in the wardrobe, it would scan smart tags (like RFID tags or even barcodes) on your clothing. The wardrobe know then know everything that is in it, including color, size, brand and so forth.
The cool thing is that the contents of the wardrobe, and how you arrange your clothes, becomes an interface that lets you surf the web directly for products you want. It provides a context for merchants to present you with relevant items. (See the Magic Wardrobe interface.)
For example, you might be planning a date later in the week; you set out a pair of pants and a shirt. These act as an interface, telling the wardrobe you would like to complete the ensemble. It might suggest shoes, socks, belt, sweater, etc. You could then order them online, or arrange to pick exactly what you need at a local store.
The idea of using what you already have as an interface has lots of possible applications. What if you used this idea elsewhere in your house? For example:
- You might be trying to figure out what to do with a package of frozen peas and some left-over tofu or light cheese. Putting them on the kitchen counter activates the 'Magic Kitchen' interface, and the kitchen screen suggests Mutter Paneer (an excellent Indian dish) for dinner, and provides the recipe.
- You are going on a camping trip. You assemble a tent, two backpacks and a coleman lantern. The back of your truck immediately begins reminding you about other items you've taken on past trips, and what you might need to purchase for this one.