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Thread: "Smart Mirror"

  1. #1
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    "smart Mirror"

    Does anyone have any experience with the "smart Mirror" and/or any opinion (positive or negative) with it's use

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    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
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    I've never heard of this Becky. What is it?


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    If 'smart mirror' is the same thing here....

    It's basically a video camera linked up to a screen, so patients with high prescriptions can see what they look like with the frames on. They can save pictures to compare.

    They are a very good idea, our patients love them. A useful tool is to glaze a frame with one lens AR coated, one without, and have them try it in the 'mirror'. Because of the glare from the video screen, it looks really effective.

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    Bad address email on file kjw1231's Avatar
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    waste of money

    Hello,

    Just go buy a good video camera and some software, that will do the trick. Smart mirror is really expensive and cumbersome to use. Besides it does nothing. They tout that it sells more because it shows features, too clumsy to use. costs about 10K

  5. #5
    Master OptiBoarder Alan W's Avatar
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    Re: Smart Mirror

    I have used the Electronic Mirror since 1993. It is a domestic product similar to Smart Mirror. The argument against these devices is that it takes too long to use, it doesn't help the sale, it costs too much.

    The argument in favor of either of these systems is that they are extremely effective when used by someone who learns how to use them and has made it his business to integrate it into the both the office environment as well as actually make it the centerpiece in a sale.

    A video camera/monitor is NOT at all a substitute. The reason why is that you cannot generate the multiple images simultaneously without adding a device to the system, the use of a video camera, etc and monitor is too bulky and adds too many contraptions to the office landscape, and last of all, can't be integrated into a computer that has on line ordering or minimal practice management software. Smart Mirror is very proprietory and has no room for practice management software in its present configuration. ElectronicMirror, which hs been around sinc late 80's has the ability to integrate, but the company itself lacks stability and customer service integrity.

    The person/company who can create a fully integrated system with on-line ordering and special effects/multiscreen storing, AND can offer a truly accurate cosmetically and sales based training program with a user group network, will make a fortune with it.

    People who know how to use these systems can easily increase multiple sales and tint/coatings to the overall sales performance equation of their business, but very very few people in this industry are willing to take the time to go through the training and learning curve (duh! Am I surprised?).

    Resistance to the use of this concept will go on forever, but its concept has migrated into other industries including medicine (especially maxilofacial surgery). This is cutting edge sales technology and opticians aren't cutting edge sales technologists. Someday, the use of this type of system will go hand in hand with new certifications such as cosmetic optician specialization. And the people who will embrace this technology and make it as much a tool as a PD ruler will be worth their weight in gold to an employer. And, will probably win every sales contest there is to offer and knock the competition on its butt!.

    I'm done let's eat!

  6. #6
    Master OptiBoarder Clive Noble's Avatar
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    Sorry to disagree with you Alan, but KW is on the right path.

    We have a Sony Digital 8 camcorder with a large 4" screen (large for camcorders) and use it regularly with a dithering Pt.

    It hurries up decisions enormously, ten seconds of video zooming in and out from the front, side, then we play it back and the freeze frame is just like a still slide (cos it's digital)

    It works and it's compact and it cost $700 and you can take it home at weekends!!

  7. #7
    Master OptiBoarder Alan W's Avatar
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    Re: Smart Mirror

    It's obvious that whoever sold these machines either had no idea what their potential was, or didn't know what they could for the development of a business. I am not here to debate the use of this technology. You have had your experience, I have had a different one. I consulted for Streibig Development in Mo. They developed the only continuosly made system in the United States. Smart Mirror is a French system. The hard part for me is to explain these devices when everyone who owns them has become proficient at only a few things they do. A few dollars invested in video equipment will certainly duplicate the freeze frame and other basic features. Now, in the words of radio celeberty Paul Harvey, let me tell you "The Rest of the Story."

    The one feature 99% of the buyers of these systems refuse to use or invest in is the photoprint out feature. That feature is not intended to impress the patient at the time of the dispensing sales session. It is intended to be taken home. Now....too many opticians and too many doctors have too little exposure to after sale marketing. So, it becomes a near dead issue to try to promote its use as a business builder. Since 1988, the Streibig Systems has had over 4000 of these machines, 2500 distributed by Wesley Jessen. The original version of the printing capability was limited to a fotoprinter. But even at that, when 100 people took those photos home, they generated 15% more new customers. All it takes is a few well chosen words to the customer. IN the years that ink jet printers came in play, the sheets that printed the photos also had preprinted promotional offers or thank you notes from the doctor. Over a three year period, statistics substantiated that alone, just "bring the picture home" there was an increase of 15 new sales from each 100 sheets of paper! However, when the opticians and doctors were told of the increase, they disagreed before even trying it, argued as though they had used such a system before, and then never turned on the printer because they didn't want to spend the money for film or ink . . . in other words. . . the marketing statistics made no difference. Facts were irrelevent, and the doctor wins the losing game.
    The psychology of bringing home that picture is interesting. Other people see the results, the choices, the options. They are the ones that said . . . gee, I don't remember my optician and doctor showing that to me. And, I was looking for a frame like that but the docor didn't have it. Those are the new customers you never see or won't without doing it.
    In addition, high fashion opticals used these systems to sell tints and what was even more interesting, by using the dual screen feature, sold the second pair before the first. Multiple pairssales went up 25%.
    Lastly, we discovered that less than 22% of the buyers of these systems were willing to accept the training that made these sytems THE CENTER of the sale and not just a camera and a computer as a perpheral. To get the most from them, they have to be the center of the sale. Again, in 89% of the situations, the optical sales person had no intentions of changing his style. And, the systems collected dust, and then being an expert critic in the process.
    Finally, the systems were intended to have their demo mode programmed with patient information and advertising to be paid by the vendors. While the unit was not being used it went into what was called "the demo mode" (programmable screen saver) . When the doctor or optician programmed the system to show special services or exciting new product or special offers, the system paid for itself and generated 18% more dollars in sales.
    Your argument is understandable. If the rep that sold the system to you didn't know how to use it, you got the shaft. If you didn't use the system as it was intended by your own choice . . . you shafted yourself. These systems are not new to the world of business. But, in the hands of optical people. It certainly faces a battle.
    I am truly sorry you and Kevin never got the training that goes with these systems. Wesley Jessen is partly to blame because it was too much of a bother to teach doctors and opticians how they could get more sales. I went nose to nose with Tom Steiner at Wesley Jessen on this issue and itsimply a shame that they and the manufacture didn't clean up the training act. An optician who is into fashion and make up made a fortune with the contact lens mode as well as eyewear, because it gave the customer a chance to model and pose and look like everything he or she ever wanted to be. . . an electronic fantasy machine. Opticians don't think that way, but customers do.
    Most opticians only think they are knowledgeable about color and fashion, or how to use a system like these the way make up artists know them in studios. It is truly a shame. Someday I'd like to spend a couple hours with you and walk through the technique I have seen and used that makes big bucks for the user. But, until then, its only a shame that the users have been denied the opportunity to see a pro use them. Most of the time its been a computer geek selling it and a computer geek making them. But, watching a pro will knock your socks off. The bottom line is customer confidence, profitability, and a customer/patient jumping ten feet over matchsticks with excitement.

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    Bad address email on file kjw1231's Avatar
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    Idea Re: Smart Mirror..Alan c'mon...

    Originally posted by Alan W
    I am truly sorry you and Kevin never got the training that goes with these systems.
    Alan,

    I was trained and educated myself on these systems. Better yet, I helped to develop a Web Based Application that is beyond belief. The systems you talk about are too antiquated, and require too much operator intervention.

    I had worked with a company in Europe that developed a system whereby the customer enters some basic data about themselves, aligns themsleves and then the picture comes out. Not only that, it would showcase different lens types, and frames based on lifestyles. It was also linked electronically so they could E-Mail the various glasses, Colored CL's, etc. to anyone. The dispensers in Europe diminished their stock and sold many more multiples. In the dispensary, the Optician would log the Rx and other measurements. The customer could (via passwords) order glasses whenever they felt like it, with the optical shop receiving their cut. In the system over there, it actually linked directly to an automated wholesale lab that would produce the order and ship them to the consumer within 48 hours.

    I attended focus group studies on the Esat and West Coasts to offer this service. An overwhelming majority thought that it was the best thing ever. However, when it came time to order, most did not like the idea of losing control and most feared the technology, so it rotted on the vine. In Europe it has been so successful that they going to bring it to the US. They already have secured a site in NJ to manufacturer the glasses, and have an agreement with a highr-end department store to private brand this. I figure that they will capture significant market share the way Lenscrafters did with one-hour service and featherweights. Too bad no one here saw the value in what we were offering. Now someone outside the US is going to capitalize on this.

  9. #9
    Master OptiBoarder Alan W's Avatar
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    I grant you . . . the systems you speak of are extremely high tech and impressive. And rare.
    Pierre Fays project, and the three that preceeded him in the USA are all but gone. Even Opticalshop.com is on ice for a while. I think the message here is that we aren't talking about the same thing at all. The systems you are referring to seem to be missing one element .. that of an optician to create the human customer servant link to the entire cycle of service. Man cannot live by CD's alone!
    The two systems that I know are out there depend on a real live human optician . . . just like actors rely on a real live human make up artist, and elite customers rely on a real live human coutuerier.
    It's called human interface and service from the start and to the finish. And, so far, these old fashioned human type systems are out there in great numbers. . . and continue to be. The problem is that too many people own these machines and haven't had 30 minutes of training or exposure (as in a users group) and are not getting 33% of what the systems can do and are doing in over 84 countries.
    Let's not Web this and Web that until everything else falls into oblivion. That just isn't going to happen. There are a few optical shops in Beverly Hills, Westwood, and Encino, California, plus hundreds more in other places in the uSA and Europe, where real high quality opticians prefer to serve the customer before a modem separates them.
    BTW - I no longer have any affiliation with the manufacturer of the dometically made system. So, there is no vested interest on my part. My statements are my own and represnt the concept no matter who makes it. But, you need to read the scientific documentation that supports the use of these kinds of systems in terms of adult learning behavior and memory retention, and decision making processes in the retail environment. It's very interesting.

    After the refinements are done. And a way of getting optical people to buy in to web based dispensing, I'm sure it will find its rightful place in the marketplace. The other computer-based systems will continue to have a place, also.

    You missed two key statements in my last posting. One was "vendor supported" and the other was "taking the picture home." While you may have an argument with the technology, the efficacy of the two concepts will be hard to debate. They work, they are out there, and more get sold every day. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck.

  10. #10
    Bad address email on file John R's Avatar
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    Re: Re: Smart Mirror..Alan c'mon...

    Originally posted by kjw1231

    Alan,
    I had worked with a company in Europe that developed a system whereby the customer enters some basic data about themselves, aligns themsleves and then the picture comes out.
    Have you got any more info on what company that was ? a web link or address. I have not seen it over here in the UK but then i am not at the retail end of the market :D It would be interesting to see it.

  11. #11
    Master OptiBoarder Alan W's Avatar
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    To: John R

    John
    I'm going to have to dig into my box of files on the whole industry. I honestly can't think of who that is.
    Most of that stuff is in Missouri and I'm no longer involved with that company. That whole business, whether its desk top or web based hasn't seen market acceptance yet. It's not the systems that are a problem. It's the users. But, it's comming.

    When the web based systems find the right home, they will be very successful. The desktop systems are still around and have a different objective. I don't believe in spending a nickel on either of them if all they are going to be used for is a glorified mirror. Like Clive Nobel said.... a good video camera will do just fine for that.

    I've had the opportunity to see the desktop system in the hands of some real masters. I used it also with a lot of success. I used one system at a convention in San Antonio several years ago, and the lines were 3 abreast and 10 deep just to pick out contact lens colors. The doctors involved made a fortune in one day. Last I heard the American company's web site was down, www.lensvision.com
    Smart Mirror is French www.opticvideo.com
    I don't know what's happening with EyeWeb.com, Pierre Fays project, which is net based, and Eyeshop.com, which is net based is on hold (very promising from the founder of Lenscrafters).

    They are all promissing . . . in the right hands.

  12. #12
    Bad address email on file Loomy's Avatar
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    Camirror

    I saw a demo for this product in New York. What I liked about that it's very simple to use and gets right to the point.
    http://www.camirror.com/

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    Thumbs up Camirror

    I saw Camirror, Smartmirror and other French product at Vision East and AOA congress this year.
    Personally, I like Camirror better than others due to its design and simplicity.
    It just looks like regular mirror but the unit has a mirror, two hi-res. cameras, a control board and a flat monitor. That is pretty amazing.
    Operation is so simple. Definitely, Camirror does not require training.

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    Bad address email on file Loomy's Avatar
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    I liked it as well, but I think it's just a little costly..!!
    About $5,000..!

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    Camirror

    I got $4500 for this device at AOA congress. They said that it is approx.$90 per month cost if I use it for 4 years. I think it is reasonable IF IT WORKS.
    Does anybody know more about this product?

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    Bad address email on file Jackie L's Avatar
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    Smart Mirror

    Hey, back to the question about the Smart Mirror. We use one where I work and you can also show your patient what their eyes would look like with colored contact lenses.

    It will also show what eyeglass lenses will look like in cr39 or higher indices depending on the Rx.

    Your patients will appreciate this useful tool.

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    I have used a basic 'Smartmirror' - type system for a few years - just a good quality webcam, T.V. screen and a remote control for zooming in & out and positioning.
    We're usually fairly busy, so anything we use has to be quick and easy. This is, it takes about 5 minutes to learn how do use it. There are 2 types of patient I use the system with - either a high Rx who really can't see what they're choosing otherwise, or a dithering patient who is down to the last few frames but can't decide - it can show 4 frames on screen at once for easy comparisons.
    The guy who sold me the system said that it would pay for itself with extra MAR coatings. To be honest I don't really use it for that, I prefer to use the actual glazed demonstrators. So I don't think it makes me money directly, but it does generate good word of mouth, which makes it well worth it for me.

  18. #18
    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    I had the Streibig unit back in 1994. It worked fine until it would lock up and customer support would take 2 days to get back to you. We used all the features on it, including the hillarious Sunlens option feature. You would capture the image, and then supper impose these grey "patches" over the frame. It made all the patients look like the uni-bomber. We had patients rolling in the aisles ! They had never seen such a hoakie demo. We never used that feature as a serious sales tool .

    After 3 years the whole system locked up, the support desk sa, , " Yeah, that was a lame unit, we just redeveloped it and will give you a discount on a new one."

    We plan on getting another unit, but it will be one we build ourselves. No more "Wizard of Oz w/ the man behind the curtain " stuff for us.

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    I am curious as to where you have the Smart Mirror located. I had a demo in office last week and after thinking it was something great to offer the staff and I realized it would be difficult to use during peak time when five opticians are with patients with patients waiting. ( We are only slow early in the AM)

    The optoms and I thought about placing it in the Cl instrruction room but realized that is quite away from our dipensary.

    Suggestions greatly appreciated.

  20. #20
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    Ours are down amongst the frames (We have two). They have patient-friendly instructions on them, so they can play about if there's no-one free to help them. I can honestly say I haven't met one high Rx patient who hasn't thought it was a good idea. Ours is a really basic thing, not top of the range at all, but the high Rx's still appreciate it, as previously they have had little or no idea what the frames look like on until collection (or pick up, or whatever word you guys use. I got funny looks in Florida for saying collection)

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    Reading Mac's post, he probably has the same one we do. It's a bit useless on AR coatings, as the screen reflects that much light on the glasses that it looks kind of 'gimmicky sales tool'. Northern people are naturally suspicious, so it's important to look like you don't actually want them to buy anything :)

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    Stick out tongue smart mirror

    I am trying to learn your system here. Becky, If you want to try a smart mirror, contact me. I have one that I will let you give it a try to see if you want one. I looked at all that was available last year at VE west. Smart Mirror was the best.
    Last edited by eyemike; 11-02-2001 at 04:50 PM.
    Mike

  23. #23
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Curiosity is peaked!!

    My curiosity after reading this thread leads me to ask if "smart mirror" has a web site.The other question which comes to mind in light of the cramped quarters is: what kind of a footprint does it have and can it (like Maria's machine) be operated by the customer.My frame display is outside the dispensing area and there would be room for a small unit if it didn't take up much space.
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    Bad address email on file John R's Avatar
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    Stick out tongue Cheap option

    You could also use a digital camera and a standard monitor to show the punter and print the pics out if need be.

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    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
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    Re: Curiosity is peaked!!

    Originally posted by hcjilson
    My curiosity after reading this thread leads me to ask if "smart mirror" has a web site.
    Look here:

    http://www.wecocan.com/Instruments/S...rt_mirror.html


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