Body Scanner May Improve Online Shopping
A new body scanning device has online retailers hopeful that this will be a profitable holiday season. Experts estimate that from 30-60% of all online apparel purchases are returned because they do not fit - and many shoppers don't even bother trying to order clothes online.
(Body Scanner builds up detailed image of body measurements)
The new scanner is being developed by the London College of Fashion, video imaging researchers at the University of Surrey and the company Bodymetrics.
The company already has in-store scanners that use the motion sensors from Microsoft's Kinect gaming device in Bloomingdale's in the US, Selfridges and New Look in Britain, and Karstadt in Germany.
Some firms, including Berlin-based Upcloud, are already offering home scanners that use a webcam, but the British developers say their system is able to measure in unprecedented detail.
With the new system, a shopper inputs his or her height as a reference and can then take a single full-length picture with a webcam or smartphone from which all their other measurements are calculated.
It uses the measurements combined with a person's overall proportions to build a 3D image.
Combining this with sizing information from retailers, the system would also overcome the problem of variable sizing, which can mean a shopper is a "medium" in one store but a "large" in another.
The technology builds on previous work by the University of Surrey that was used to create animated characters in games such as The Sims.
Science fiction authors (and tailors, I'm guessing) have been wishing for a better way to measure the human body for clothing for a long time. In his 1899 story When the Sleeper Wakes, H.G. Wells tried to imagine a solution to this problem:
...the tailor pulled out a number of slotted arms terminating in little discs, pulling them out until the discs were flat against the body of Graham, one at each shoulder blade, one at the elbows, one at the neck and so forth, so that at last there were, perhaps, two score of them upon his body and limbs...
The tailor set moving a mechanism that initiated a faint-sounding rhythmic movement of parts in the machine, and in another moment he was knocking up the levers and Graham was released.
(Read more about Wells' Automated Surface Measurement)
I was also fascinated by the reference to The Sims, a product that was at least partly inspired by the kingdom in a box from the work of sf great Stanislaw Lem.
Via Sydney Morning Herald
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/27/2012)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion (Back On) ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Superomniphobic Fabrics Are Super Clean
'Most gentlemen's and ladies' gloves nowadays were constructed of infinitesimal fabricules that knew how to eject dirt...'- Neal Stephenson, 1995
Sean Jean 'Fashion Video Name Tag' Fleece
Why not a display to go with your sleeve communicator? Murray Leinster would have been down with it.
Body Scanner May Improve Online Shopping
'...the tailor pulled out a number of slotted arms terminating in little discs...'- H.G. Wells, 1899.
Smart Bra From First Warning Systems
'...a delicate current is sent ... to an amplifier and a certain sound is made, and the nurse will properly react...'- David H. Keller, 1928.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
MIT Robot Cheetah Video Shows Gait Transition
'The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power, like a cheetah's.'
TrackingPoint Smart Rifle
Not your typical 'smart bullet' approach.
'Hello, Computer!' Google Now Highlighted at IO13
Sky City's 220 Stories Are Go
'It rested among green parklands and... stood in total isolation, a glittering block of whites and flashing windows dotted with colors.'
CARMAT Bioprosthetic Total Human Heart Replacement
'George Walt's corporate existence proved the workability of wholly mechanical organs...'
Personal Sniffer Robots
'...The ticking combinations of the olfactory system of the hound.'
Physical Exam? We've Got Apps
See the future of handheld, personal medical devices.
The Interplanetary Internet, Vint Cerf Speaking
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'
Drosophila Robotica, The Mechanical Fly
'... the Scarab [flying robot] buzzed into the great workroom as any intruding insect might...'
Robo-Raven Flapping Wing Robot Bird
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'
Japan's Nursing Home Robot Plan
Let's make the Roujin Z-0001 Robotic Bed!
Samsung Smart TVs With Gesture Control
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'
Swiss HCPVT Giant Photovoltaic 'Flower'
'...leaning against one of the slender stalks of a sunshade-photocell collector.'
Mini-Livers Made By 3D Printer
Organleggers may experience an employment downturn.
Smartphone Sensor System Tracks Gunfire
'Sound trackers on the roof could zero in on weapons action...'
Bacteria Now Make Biofuel Like Oil
'They have ... germs that eat pretty near anything, and produce oil as a waste product.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories