Elle, L’Oreal USA, and Bloomindale’s to Give Shopping a Makeover with New ng Connect Program Retail Concept at CES 2011

Virtual Personal Stylist concept utilizes 4G/LTE to showcase a new way to shop in-store, online and at home

Las Vegas, CES 2011 Booth #35469 – January 5, 2011 —Imagine trying out the latest styles, the hottest new cosmetics and breakthrough skincare without the hassle of changing room visits or messy applications at the makeup counter! Tired of returning clothes that looked fabulous online but didn’t quite fit at home? High bandwidth networks are poised to deliver new shopping experiences for consumers and compelling business opportunities for retailers. The ng Connect Program, founded by Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU), today debuted an advanced retail solution concept, the Virtual Personal Stylist,  destined to make life much easier for shoppers and more rewarding for retailers.

ng Connect Program members Alcatel-Lucent, Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., Inc. (HFMUS), Samsung, [TC]2, TelePresence Tech, VisionMAX, and Vidyo collaborated on the development of the interactive Virtual Personal Stylist solution concept to offer retailers a hands-on look at how emerging high bandwidth IP networks can support new business models by delivering a rich shopping experience – in-store and at home.

It all begins with an avatar, which is created for the shopper through an in-store 3D scanning booth using innovative white light technology. The shopper’s profile is then stored in the cloud and can be accessed in participating retail stores via an interactive “mirror”, kiosk or mobile device to try on clothes or to test the latest beauty products. In the demonstration, the virtual mirror is easily operated by a Samsung Galaxy Tab™ and the beauty kiosk is controlled using a touchscreen.

Say goodbye to changing room lines and difficult skincare and cosmetics choices! Supported by interactive video conferencing and 3D image management software, shoppers can view interactive videos, including one with anELLE fashion editor, to get style advice from professionals and try products on their avatars.

At CES 2011, attendees will see models demonstrate the new retail experience, powered by the world’s #1 fashion brand, ELLE, beauty industry global leader L’Oreal USA and upscale retail icon Bloomingdale’s. Avatars, based on models from ELLE, will browse an online clothing rack of Bloomingdale’s AQUA apparel line to try on clothes, change the color of a blouse with the touch of a button, and even receive complementary makeup colors. They can also access their personal skincare preferences at the drug store, browse through L’Oreal USAproducts in 3D and get expert advice.   For the at-home experience, the ELLE models will also demonstrate a visit to a simulated Bloomingdale’s online storefront, where they can continue to try on apparel with their personal avatar, browse, order and automatically renew favorite beauty products.

“As the world’s largest fashion media brand, ELLE is dedicated to encourage women to discover their own personal style and self expression. ELLE strives to always be at the forefront of what’s next in fashion and beauty; whether it’s the latest shoe, the newest beauty product or a new way to shop. We were eager to work with other ng Connect Program member companies to transform and enhance the retail experience using the capability of next generation networks. Our collaboration with innovative start-ups as well as the leader in next generation infrastructure, Alcatel-Lucent, has been very successful in a very short period of time,” said Robin Domeniconi, SVP, Chief Brand Officer, ELLE Group, HFMUS. “Our new Virtual Personal Stylist concept illustrates how quickly retailers like Bloomingdale’s and brands like L’Oreal can deploy new ways to connect with customers, increase loyalty, and create new services and business models thanks to 4G/LTE networks.”

This innovative solution concept was developed by the following ng Connect Program members:

  • Alcatel-Lucent provides cloud-based subscriber data management and payment platforms, digital media management, presence and location-based services platforms, and high bandwidth connectivity via 4G/LTE mobile devices providing the speed at which rich content can be accessed by shoppers and shared with others no matter where they are
  • HFMUS, parent company to ELLE magazine and other popular consumer titles including Woman’s Day, worked from concept to demonstration to develop the whole user experience and to provide the stylist advice with their leading team of editors
  • L’Oreal USA, a partner with HFMUS, worked with TelePresence Tech to create the 3D imaging of their products to browse through on the kiosk or at home
  • Bloomingdale’s, an HFMUS partner, worked with [TC]2 to determine how their AQUA clothing line would fit virtually on anyone’s body type
  • Samsung provided the 82” screen that creates the fashion “mirror” and the Samsung Galaxy Tab ™, a leading tablet, that is used to control the virtual mirror and the screen used in the at-home experience
  • [TC]2, the leading developer of 3D body scanning equipment, avatar creation and virtual try-on, shape analysis and measurement extraction software provided the body scanning equipment to develop the avatars that are used throughout the shopping experience
  • TelePresence Tech, LLC. provided advanced telepresence solutions to display the life-size 3D images of shoppers enabled by a patented display system
  • Vidyo provided the video conferencing technology allowing face-to-face conversations with a professional stylist
  • VisionMAX developed the kiosk, the tablet/mobile and the at-home applications for the virtual personal stylist system, and integrated the avatar and video conferencing software into the overall experience

“High bandwidth networks like the new LTE networks being rolled out this year present tremendous opportunities for many businesses, but the retail industry particularly will find new possibilities,” said Steve West, Vice President of Emerging Technology & Media at Alcatel-Lucent. “Our Virtual Personal Stylist offers retailers an easy to deploy in-store or online solution that provides shoppers with professional styling assistance based on their online profile. The system offers improved convenience, and higher accuracy in sizing and color choices, all of which will increase purchasing confidence in online purchases and customer loyalty.”

The ng Connect Program is the telecom industry’s leading ecosystem for the creation of next-generation fixed and mobile broadband services based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) and other technologies.

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