The concept of an online closet has been around for years, a system that shows you how clothes look on your body, what clothes look good together and instructions in accessorizing every outfit. This idea has always seemed so advanced, something that will happen in the future, but in fact several of these systems have already been made!
(TC)2 is one of the largest apparel technology companies, with the central goal of turning research into reality. They are constantly pushing the technological envelope and as a result, they are the world leaders in digital body scanning. Digital body scanning is a system that scans a person’s body and creates an avatar of that individual, allowing them to shop virtually and see how clothes look on their body without trying them on.
There is still a lot of research being conducted about the scanning system to make it as life-like and convenient as possible, but some stores have already started using these systems. In Seattle, there is a store that displays only one size of all of their clothes and then uses a body scanning system to determine the shopper’s size. When the shopper wants to try items on in their own size, it will already be waiting for them by the time they get to the fitting room.
The CEO of (TC)2, Mike Fralix predicts that eventually fitting rooms will be obsolete. Customers will be able to walk into a store, see the sample clothing, determine the digital fit and have the item shipped by the store in 24-48 hours!
The avatars will also be saved in a database that allows shoppers to access them on any computer. This gives consumers the ability to shop at home and see if the clothes will fit properly, eliminating the need for returns. The database also recommends shoppers the types of clothing that will suit their body, colours that compliment their skin tones, and hairstyles that enhance their facial features; one shopper can get up to 600 recommendations; this concept is being referred to as an online mall.
An online mall makes purchasing clothes convenient for those people who do not like the hassle of shopping but hits a sore spot for those who love a Saturday trip to the mall. Does this online concept push the fashion industry where it needs to go or does it take the fun out of loving what you buy?