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Paxar Showcases RFID Smart Mirror for Retailers

Paxar Corporation is showcasing the magicmirror at this week's Material World show. The RFID reader-equipped smart mirror displays rich, user-centric information when a tagged piece of apparel is brought within range. Paxar aims for the magicmirror to enhance customer service and drive demand for item-level tagging.
Tags: Retail
May 07, 2007This article was originally published by RFID Update.

May 7, 2007—Paxar Corporation is showcasing its magicmirror at the Material World show taking place this week in Miami. An innovative RFID-driven application for the retail and apparel markets, magicmirror will enhance customer service and drive demand for item-level tagging, according to Paxar.

The product is essentially a "smart mirror". Equipped with an RFID reader behind it and out of sight, the mirror displays rich, user-centric information when a tagged piece of apparel is brought within range. That information might include brand messaging from the apparel maker, a description of the item, size and color availability of the item within the store, and even suggestions on what other apparel items would complement the current item. The mirror is suited for installation both on the store floor and in dressing rooms. When installed in dressing rooms, it can include a feature that allows customers to touch the mirror to request salesperson assistance, eliminating the need for customers to leave the dressing room when they have a question or request. Paxar hopes that the magicmirror will not only enhance the customer service of retailers, but that it might also transform the dressing room from the oft-neglected "back-space" of retail into an interactive, informative, and even fun part of the shopping experience.

Paxar teamed with Motorola and Infosys, the former providing RFID readers and the latter its Visual Merchandising applications. The company also worked with an Italian interactive design firm called thebigspace for the rich media and content. (thebigspace offers a few pictures of the magicmirror on its blog.)

While magicmirror is not the first futuristic retail RFID application, Paxar's mention that the product will drive item-level tagging is notable. "The magicmirror solution ... is poised to become a huge driver of item-level RFID adoption as consumers are encouraged to interact with the positive features and experience the significant benefits RFID brings." While this is likely an aggressive assertion, it does highlight an intriguing strategy on the part of Paxar to drive demand for RFID indirectly, through a product that relies on high tagging volumes. Recall that Paxar was recently acquired by RFID inlay manufacturer Avery Dennison, and the combined company stands to gain from increased demand for RFID tags. With magicmirror, the company has enhanced the RFID value proposition for retailers beyond inventory visibility to encompass increased customer service and upsell opportunities as well. This enhanced value proposition might be more compelling to retailers than visibility alone has proven to be. In fact, ChainLink Research just last week cited customer experience improvement as a key emerging application of RFID among retailers.

Read the magicmirror announcement from Paxar
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