Window shopping is a retail sport that transcends nationality or local culture, which is why a new innovation from Japan that makes it just a little more fun could very well be coming to the West in the near future. The Marionettebot is a traditional mannequin engineered to mimic the movements of passersby who stand in front of the window and interact with the display.
Designed by Japanese fashion brand United Arrows, the Marionettebot is made possible through the use of a Kinect device and 16 wires strategically attached to motorized parts of the mannequin's body, allowing it to move in concert with the motions of the person standing in front of it. The construct started out as a commercial for the brand that showed an imaginary meeting of two lovers who turn into mannequins on a city street. That TV spot then morphed into this public display that anyone can now walk up and sample in Tokyo's Shibuya district.
Of course, it's easy to image holographic versions of this dynamic becoming popular in the near future, but in the meantime, this is a pretty cool example of how to use off-the-shelf tech to stir interest in an international brand.
You can see the Marionettebot in action in the video below.