Razorfashion: right tech, wrong place?

Take a look at this.

I’ve always been sympathetic to the art for art’s sake approach, and in the same way I adore technology that’s impractical and imbued with a major ‘wow’ factor.

For me, the new Razorfish Touch Framework (RTF or ‘Razorfashion’) falls squarely into this category. The touch-screen looks gorgeous and fun to use, like a supercharged iPhone the size of your torso. But one awkward question lurks at the back of my mind: is it really going to revolutionise clothes shopping?

No. I don’t think it is. Certainly not in-store. I think it’s a great innovation that’s been developed in the wrong market.

Listen closely to the video voiceover stating the RTF ‘brings inventory in-store to life.’ Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I can’t think of anything that brings shopping more to life than going to a store, handling the clothes, inspecting the quality of cut and fabric, asking advice from well-informed shop assistants and – with luck – haggling a few quid off the bill.

It doesn’t make sense to me to go to a shop, spend 10 or 15 minutes playing with a very stylish computer, and then returning to the real world to use up additional time inspecting the threads that are hanging on the racks.

That said, I can imagine myself sitting in front of a touch-screen home computer, playing with something just like the RTF and – if I liked what I saw – making the all-important decision to visit the store for a spot of in-person shopping. That’s where I think the future of the software lies.

RTF is a fine and exciting development, but its real place is in the home, not in a shop. Unless, of course, it can be used to sample digital replicas of the goods sold in-store. I wonder what the music retailers think?