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By Beth Bacheldor

Polo Ralph Lauren Store in Dallas Adopts Oak Interactive Fitting Room

Oak Labs has announced that the new Polo Ralph Lauren store at NorthPark Center, in Dallas, is now using its Oak Interactive Fitting Room, an RFID-enabled system that includes a touchscreen mirror to provide customers with an interactive experience while they try on apparel.

Oak Labs' interactive and RFID-enabled system was first installed at the Polo Ralph Lauren stores in New York City, where it was put into eight fitting rooms (see Polo Ralph Lauren Store Gets Smart Fitting Rooms). The Oak Interactive Fitting Room uses an RFID antenna to detect tagged merchandise within the vicinity of a fitting room, and a touchscreen mirror recognizes the items and synchs with the store's inventory-management system to produce images and product information on the screen, which is embedded in the mirror. The system requires no additional app that has to be installed on a customer's phone, nor is there any camera in the mirror. Store personnel can communicate with a shopper in the fitting room via an Apple iPad app. The customer's answers will then appear on the mirror.

The system works with any EPC Gen 2 ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags. All integration with RFID is designed in-house and runs on the company's own OakOS solution, a Linux variant system.

According to Oak Labs, the system helps retailers differentiate the in-store experience. Smart mirrors automatically identify all items that a customer has in the fitting room, and let him or her select and request new items, without having to leave the room. In addition, Oak Labs says, fitting-room space is a black box for retailers. According to the company, the Oak Interactive Fitting Room is designed to provide retailers with real, impactful metrics regarding products that enter fitting rooms, as well as which product variations are requested, fitting room and item-level conversions, and other information, to help them make smarter decisions across merchandising, buying, operations and beyond.

Oak Labs reports that it is currently exploring new use cases for RFID technology, in order to create other in-store customer experiences. This, the company adds, effectively takes RFID's value proposition from the supply chain to every other corner of the retail organization.

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