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Neiman Marcus' high-tech "memory mirror" transforms shopping experience

It's not your average mirror at Neiman Marcus; it's actually a giant video screen and camera
High-tech "Memory Mirror" records and shows outfits from all angles 03:48

Your next trip to the mall could blow your mind.

At select Neiman Marcus stores, a new technology called the "memory mirror" is transforming customers' shopping experience, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy exclusively for "CBS This Morning."

It's not your momma's mirror; it's actually a giant video screen and camera, that enables shoppers to see outfits from 360 degrees, and compare clothing options side-by-side. It also remembers what customers have already tried on.

"Technology has changed everything in terms of the shopping experience," Neiman Marcus president and CEO Karen Katz said.

The company, whose customers are 80 percent women, is embracing the future by testing these very modern mirrors in San Francisco stores.

Katz hopes that with the new device, shoppers can short-circuit the process of trying on, and re-trying on, clothes.

"Equally important is the ability to share the outfits with friends and family," she said. "I think that that social part of it is as important as the editing part of it."

The mirror records an eight-second video. It's password protected and can be e-mailed, allowing shoppers to instantly share and solve any shopping situation with the help of friends and family.

"For those really important decisions in women's lives, whether it's buying a mother of the bride dress or buying an outfit for a special event, she can have her entire bevy of girlfriends right around her, even if they're not there physically," Katz said.

The mirror was created by MemoMi in partnership with Neiman Marcus at a top-secret innovation lab in Dallas, where Neiman is experimenting with the future of retail -- and CBS News' cameras were the first to be allowed in.

"We're constantly looking for new innovations that would appeal to our customer and really make the store come to life in a different way," Neiman Marcus stores and online president John Koryl said.

The lab is blending the virtual world with the real one -- from displays that are activated when a customer picks up a product, to interactive tables that work like giant iPads.

One bride received some high-tech, special treatment.

"We did some 3D scans of a bride and printed her in the actual dress," said Scott Emmons, who runs the innovation lab.

But back in the store, the "memory mirror" is solving one of shopping's most important questions.

"The best part is being able to see the full 360," said one shopper. "Like, every girl really does want to know, 'Does this make my butt look big?'"

Any good man doesn't need a mirror on the wall to tell him that the answer to that question is, always, "No."

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