Online Magic Wardrobe From Accenture

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.

Once you get over your intial disgust (particularly with respect to merchants knowing exactly what you have in your house), the study that is published along with the prototype has some interesting ideas.

(Magic Wardrobe goes online for accessories)

The general idea is that some sort of smart tags (like RFID tags or other easily scannable identifier) would let the wardrobe know everything that is in it, what color, what size, and so forth. 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.

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.

Frankly, I'm not particularly interested in the Magic Wardrobe, because I'm not that interested in fashion. But what if you used this idea elsewhere in your house? For example:

  • You might be doing a report on, let's say, the history of Iraq. You put several books on your desk, along with a current newspaper. Your desk immediately grasps what you want to do, and starts suggesting more material, bringing up necessary documents.
  • 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 interface, and the kitchen screen suggests Muttar Paneer for dinner.
  • 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.

Anyway, going back to the Magic Wardrobe, the most practical thing that it could do for me is put my clothes away (which it doesn't do). Science fiction writers agree; Philip K. Dick thought that a handicloset would be a good idea.

Read more about The Magic Online Wardrobe; they have a nice descriptive pdf that goes along with it.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/28/2006)

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