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Give it time, and there apparently is almost nothing that technology cannot come up with to save consumers time or money. Or the embarrassment of showing off to friends and loved ones a newly purchased outfit that's just wrong. From New York comes word of an innovation that boutique or clothing store owners will want to give consideration to installing. It's a three-panel interactive mirror that is equipped to send live video feeds to any cellphone, personal digital assistant device, or e-mail account designated by a prospective buyer. Let's say a bride-to-be is shopping for her wedding dress but wants input from Mom or her best friend, neither of whom could tag along. She has only to pose in front of the mirror (which probably will have been mounted outside a fitting room) and wait for text message replies to appear on one of its panels, offering such comments as: "It makes you look fat" or "Let's have a look at the shoes you'd wear with it." While the first virtual boutique is scheduled for its debut at an as-yet-unidentified upscale store in a month or so, one may not be coming to a mall near you anytime soon. According to developer IconNicholson of the Big Apple, the mirror can cost up to $25,000.


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