Target Replaces Its Clothes with Holograms

Last Updated Oct 30, 2007 7:31 PM EDT

blurry-models.jpgTarget's upcoming 3-D virtual fashion show is both model- and clothing-free (prompting a Wired blogger to ask a slightly offensive, but nonetheless comical question: can a hologram be anorexic?) The show will take place at NYC's Grand Central Terminal on November 5th and 6th, repeating every 10 minutes from noon to midnight on the first day, and from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the second. Target also plans to post a video of the show on YouTube, Facebook, and its Web site.

It will be interesting to see how the 3-D show affects consumers' purchasing decisions. Likely, the futuristic element will have people stopping just to be part of the experience. But novelty only lasts so long; once the hologram fades will consumers really be moved to buy?

During Fashion Week, IBM premiered a multi-sensory facility that also replaces real life with holograms. Mario Boselli, chairman of the chamber of commerce for the Italian fashion industry, commented on the technology and its power to eradicate the physical runway:

"Never say never. That said, while this 3-D room could be useful to the industry as a technical instrument to have simulations for buyers, I don't think it can be a substitute for the fashion shows.

"The emotions that the fashion shows elicit cannot be substituted. We tried to have more static events during fashion week, rather than the fashion shows and there was so little interest that we stopped trying. People want the fashion shows."

Just another reminder that even really cool technology can't replace the human element.

(Blurry Model image courtesy of bunnicula, CC 2.0)