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Bloomingdale's Virtual Reality Window Lets Shoppers Try On Glasses From The Sidewalk

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At Bloomingdale's in New York City, shoppers can now try on sunglasses without ever going in the store.

The luxury department store launched an interactive window display on Thursday that projects images of sunglasses onto the faces of passersby, the New York Daily News reports.

At the six interactive windows at the store's Lexington Avenue location, shoppers stand in front of LCD monitors and align their faces and eyes with small circles on the screen. Once a video camera detects the position of a face, the shopper can romp around and see how the shades look from different angles.

"You don't have the pressure of a saleswoman saying "you have to get it," Judy Rivkin told the New York Daily News. "It's good because you don't know the price." The glasses, which are by designers like Gucci and Miu Miu, cost up to $450.

Bloomingdale's, which is owned by Macy's Inc., isn't the only store experimenting with virtual eyewear. Ray-Ban.com lets online shoppers try on its models using computer webcams, a process the company dubs an "augmented reality experience." Google, meanwhile, will soon release its own "augmented reality" glasses, which can be worn like normal glasses but whose lenses contain smartphone-like features.

Of course, it's hard to tell whether a pair of glasses is worth the $450 without seeing it in person. Bloomingdale's hopes that fans of its virtual window display will take the one extra step into its store, where they can print out pictures of themselves wearing the shades and even try on -- or buy -- the real versions.

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