Virtual Fitting Rooms a Reality?
I like to shop. Actually no, I love to shop. The only problem is that I hate shopping malls. Waiting to get into a fitting room is something I don’t have much patience for, and getting in and out of multiple outfits quickly so as to get out of the way of my fellow shoppers can leave me slightly sweaty and grumpy. It’s now part of my regular routine to wake up early on Saturday mornings so that I can spend a few quality hours with my online shopping bag, and browse through garments at my own pace. During one of these early morning shopping sessions I came across something that might tempt me to brave the hustle and bustle of the malls once again; virtual fitting rooms. If you haven’t heard of them read on!
This idea has been brought to life but the Taiwanese tech company Vismile, who’ve brilliantly devised a system that enables consumers to try on garments without physically trying them on. Cool, right? Basically there is a registry of every garment in a store, and each item is scanned to create a 360-degree model. Once you’ve browsed through the registry and chosen items to ‘try on,’ the system takes high-resolution photos of your body using special infrared cameras. The image of each garment can then be superimposed on the image of your body, thus allowing you to ‘try it on.’ To top it all off, motion sensors catch your every movement so you’re actually able to move around – just as you would in a normal fitting room – to see how a garment looks from different sides and angles.
As convenient as this first sounded, I wonder. Will shoppers actually end up waiting in line to try things on even longer than they do now? Because this system will make trying on clothing much easier, people may feel more comfortable trying more than they normally would, in turn taking longer to use it than they would in a regular fitting room. Most stores have fitting room policies that only allow a small number of items at one time; this ensures the line-ups don’t get too out of hand. With virtual fitting rooms, I wonder if there will be such a limit? As well, in order for the cameras to take accurate pictures of body shapes, shoppers might need to wear minimal or tight fitting clothing. As these virtual fitting rooms are meant to be dispersed throughout stores and not hidden away by doors or curtains, this may not be something every customer will be comfortable with.
These virtual fitting rooms are still quite new and are going to be tested in Taiwan first, so we probably won’t see them around for another few years. I’m interested to see how this system works out, and if it will actually make shopping any faster or easier. Leave us a comment below to let us know what you think!