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Amazon patents "blended-reality" mirror

Lauretta Roberts
05 January 2018

Amazon has patented a "blended-reality" mirror, which enables users to picture themselves wearing garments in virtual locations.

The mirror is a move on from Amazon's Echo Look technology which enables customers to take a photo of themselves and virtually try on different outfits with the assistance of its voice-enabled AI assistant "Alexa". Echo Look is being marketed on an invitation-only basis at the moment.

In its patent filed earlier this week, Amazon explains the technology is based on a combining images reflected by the mirror with images transmitted from a screen behind the mirror. Systems for generating blended reality views can include a display device with a screen positioned behind a mirror.

The display device can generate a pattern of illumination and non-illumination on the screen so that the illuminated portions of the screen substantially transmit through the mirror, the patent filing adds.

In other words the user could view themselves in various scenarios from a beach scene to a nightclub and superimpose appropriate clothing onto their real body. Face-tracking sensors manage the display so that the user could see a realistic blended image from any angle.

It is not yet known if or how Amazon intends to bring the product to market but patent filing follows on from its acquisition last autumn of New York-based Body Labs which creates 3-D avatars for gaming, clothes modelling and other applications.

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