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Virtual Fit: Body Scans To Replace Dressing Room?

By end0parasite in News
Wed Oct 18, 2000 at 01:05:34 AM EST
Tags: Technology (all tags)
Technology

A new technology called Virtual Fit Body Scanning has been released after nine years of development. Catalog giant Lands' End and Brooks Brothers signed up with Image Twin, the company that produces the body-scanner, to create the ultimate dressing room.


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The body scanner works like this. You stand on a kiosk inside a small chamber. There you are subjected to a bright, white light for twelve seconds, which the body scanner uses to record two-hundred thousand data points across the surface of your body, thus making a full three-dimensional model of you, from which it gets various measurements. It encrypts and stores this information in a password protected web site that you, along with Image Twin's business affiliates, can access to gain information for use in customizing clothes or ordering online.

The body scanner was designed in hopes of making it not only easier, but perhaps possible, to successfully shop online. It was also designed with creating an inter-store standard in mind, so a size eight in one store is a size eight anywhere.

Monday, October 16, Lands' End embarked on a two month, fourteen city promotional tour at the World Trade Center, where they invited people off the street to strip off their clothes, put on a tight-fitting athletic suit, and get scanned in their forty-eight foot promotional trailer.

This concept of body scanning isn't new. Levi Strauss has operated a body scanning kiosk to customize jeans in its San Francisco based store. Nike offered foot scanning in its Niketown store in New York, scrapping it after one year. The concept never took off because of limited technology. Also, you had to get rescanned every time you brought something new.

Brooks Brother will be installing a body scanner early next year in its New York City based store on Madison Avenue. They will use this technology to make custom clothes at no extra charge.

Image Twin is planning to install its body scanning kiosk in fifty stores over the next year. You can get a full list from their site.

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Virtual Fit: Body Scans To Replace Dressing Room? | 10 comments (6 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
Great, spam fitted to your exact measurements (4.00 / 2) (#5)
by TuxNugget on Wed Oct 18, 2000 at 01:07:53 AM EST

For some reason I don't see what was wrong with the old method of buying clothes. I am betting the clothes will still be factory made, not instantly made-to-order, and that this is just a high-tech gee-whiz gimmick that happens to also smack of invasion of privacy.

Your exact measurements will eventually be tagged to your credit card, internet address, home address, and mobile telephone number (even if the clothes company does not have the gall to ask you for all this information, someone else will surely assemble it from the trail created by the transaction).

Got nice abs? - everywhere you go, you'll see bodybuilding commercials, commercials for sports equipment, and your email box will be filled with spam about adventure travel. Instant messages on your mobile phone will point you towards other stores for the beautiful people as soon as you hit the mall.

Need to lose a few kilos? Oh, well. You'll get ads for dating services, blockbuster videos (you do stay home most of the time, right?) haagen dazs coupons, and your browser will always show some banner about weight loss pills and your need to reduce your risk for heart disease now!

Of course, if you are a woman, they will know if you are pregnant - which can be used to push a host of other products and services. And of course, if you decide not to have the kid and then buy another pair of jeans shortly after having the abortion, then you'll be tagged as a loose woman and be flooded with spam of the variety that I'd rather not describe in detail.

Good point (none / 0) (#6)
by end0parasite on Wed Oct 18, 2000 at 09:06:04 AM EST

However, I have always found it a real pain in the ass to try on clothes. What you said, however, will make me think twice about getting scanned.

[ Parent ]
Will spam anyway (4.00 / 1) (#7)
by loner on Wed Oct 18, 2000 at 12:38:41 PM EST

Wouldn't a lot of this work even without the Virtual Fit technology? Except for the great abs part, if you buy clothes online (or by mail) the marketroids can keep track of the clothes sizes you buy anyway.

The only step up with this technology is that the marketroids will know that you're pregnant as soon as you do the scan. They won't have to wait till you start buy maternity clothes to find out.

Digressing a little, I wonder if a great place for these machines will be in gyms. I mean when you visit the gym, you're already changing clothes a couple of times so it won't be too much of a bother to just step into the scanner right after your shower...

[ Parent ]

It'll probably work great (4.00 / 1) (#8)
by DesiredUsername on Wed Oct 18, 2000 at 01:39:24 PM EST

Last Xmas, my wife ordered some clothes from Land's End. At that time, they had a number of basic body types, measurements, colorings, etc you could choose from to create a simple model. Then you dress the model with various outfits and see how they look. It worked very very well. We were all huddled around playing with it and every time I caught the image out of the corner of my eye I thought it was a picture of my wife.

More accuracy will be better, although having to rescan every few weeks/months for those with seasonally dependent weight will be a hassle.

Play 囲碁
Ah, yes... (none / 0) (#10)
by end0parasite on Wed Oct 18, 2000 at 04:48:36 PM EST

That would be their virtual body-scanner, which they had on their site for two years now. I neglected to put that in.

[ Parent ]
Checked the site for locations... (4.00 / 1) (#9)
by DesiredUsername on Wed Oct 18, 2000 at 01:44:04 PM EST

...and they are making a MAJOR blunder. All the scanning sites are in NY, LA, etc. Wrong wrong wrong!

Well-to-do (own a computer and are online) people in large cities don't need this technology. There are already PLENTY of offline stores that cater to them. ImageTwin should be targetting high-tech but low-shopping-selection areas like Nashua, New Hampshire. High-tech, smallish towns have few brick 'n' mortar stores and a large push for online clothes shopping.

Play 囲碁
Virtual Fit: Body Scans To Replace Dressing Room? | 10 comments (6 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
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