This Is The Future of Shopping - Get Ready!

Sheila Dharmarajan
The Future Is Now

We’ve all been there. You’re in the perfect little boutique, on the hunt for the perfect little outfit. All the mixing, matching and accessorizing that happens is enough to leave you exhausted. And, perhaps momentarily, never wanting to step foot in a store again.

But consider this: a shopping platform where you can try as many outfits and accessories you want.. without ever kicking off your shoes. Thanks to entrepreneur Linda Smith and her startup FaceCake Marketing Technologies, that possibility is now reality.

Meet FaceCake

Based in Calabasas, California, FaceCake has found a powerful way to try on clothes in the digital era. The result, around 8 years in the making, is Swivel – a technology for trying on clothing and much more.

“We’ve been working on it for a long time doing all kinds of visualization software. Through all that work and hardcore development, we’ve come up with a really good system. It’s instant, it’s easy, you can play around without taking any risks, combine products, get advice from friends and buy it,” says Smith.

How Does It Work?

Swivel employs the Kinect camera, a motion sensing technology used by Microsoft’s Xbox gaming system. The camera can track a shopper’s body movements as they stand before a display. Then, Swivel’s visualization software allows them to try on entire wardrobe with incredible realism.

[Related: What 5 Experts Say About the Future of E-Commerce]

“We’re always looking at making it more realistic. To make necklaces fall more realistically, try on different lengths.”

But beyond making shopping just easier, Swivel also goes one step beyond and allows you to do things simply not possible in the physical shopping world.

“My favorite thing to do is to compare any product in real time. When you can see yourself in real time, holding a different handbag, with the same dress, you can say there’s a winner.”

The full-length version of the technology is augmented by Swivel Close-Up, which focuses on the face using an ordinary webcam to capture a person’s image. Then, proprietary software creates virtual version of practically anything on the market from scarves to sunglasses to jewelry.

Swivel also allows shoppers to take on more risks and experiment more. After all, when the makeup is virtual, you don’t need cold cream.

[Related: 9 Best Makeup Looks from New York Fashion Week]

What’s Next

Smith is beginning to partner with some of the country’s biggest retailers and believes FaceCake’s try-on technology is that revolutionary. She believes there can be multiple applications for Swivel ranging from traditional stores, malls, online boutiques and even home closets.

For example, similar to popular music apps nowadays, Swivel will eventually allow you to upload your own wardrobe to the platform so you can mix and match your favorite blue jeans with a new sweater you’re considering for purchase. Ultimately, says Smith, it’s about making shopping fun again.

“I see [the] FaceCake/Swivel shopping platform as being ubiquitous. Get the items you want, receive personalized advice. I think of it dream closet you always thought about and the best shopping experience you could ever imagine.”