Tablet computer: the new, improved dressing room mirror

Kyodo

Whether it’s getting a wedding dress, makeup or a haircut, more shops are using tablet computers to help customers visualize what they would look like before actually taking the plunge.

One dress rental company centered in eastern Japan has been using an application it developed to let customers “try on” various wedding dresses.

After a photo of the customer’s face is captured on the tablet screen, a hundred different dresses can be called up in succession. Even the color can be adjusted to match the bride-to-be’s skin tone.

A customer in her 20s who chose a white dress said she enjoyed trying out various colors and designs on the tablet, adding that she was convinced she made the right choice.

Since it’s only possible to actually try on about five dresses in a physical session, many customers, especially working women, appreciate being able to check out many dresses in a short time using the digital gadget, said a company official.

The company also offers a similar application for smartphones, so that customers can look through and select dresses before visiting the store to try them on.

Similarly, Shiseido Co. introduced last July a makeup simulator at its shops nationwide to let customers get a look at themselves using different products on a tablet screen.

Each of Shiseido’s 11,000 beauty advisers has a tablet for showing customers how they would look in makeup, even from various angles.

Shiseido officials say the shops taking advantage of the application are enjoying higher sales because the customers appreciate not having to remove their makeup to try on the different products.

Hair salons are also making increasing use of tablets.

With Beauty Album, a service provided by IT firm Unitybell and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corp., hair salons can keep a database of customer preferences. As many as 100 hair salons in the Tokyo area use the service.

Caetla Des Modes introduced the system at all four of its Tokyo hair salons last June. President Eiji Kono says it has become easier for salon staff to respond to customers’ requests because they can refer to the customers’ hairstyle history on the tablet.