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 |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Clothing ")

LikeAGlove Smart Garment Knows Your Size
'The tailor set moving a mechanism...'- HG Wells, 1898.

Bullet-Proof Kevlar Woven Electronics
'Check the watch imprinted on his sleeve...'- Niven and Barnes, 1981.

Ralph Lauren Polo Tech Shirt
'It can feel your heartbeat...'- Rudy Rucker, 1988.

Bespoke Clothing In 30 Minutes
'He sat himself down in a sales cubicle and dialed the code number for kilts.'- Robert Heinlein, 1941.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Hackers Can Take Control Of Cars From Anywhere In The World
'The car faltered as the external command came to brake...'

Armed Drone Opens Fire
'Each a television eye and a sonic stunner...'

Robotic Exoskeleton Releases Man From Wheelchair
'This man was standing on two corrugated-soled titanium footplates...'

Oh, Just Let Robots Run Airports
I'd like a friendly robot to help me at airports.

How Smart Should AI's Be Allowed To Get?
'Every AI ever built has an electromagnetic shotgun wired to its forehead'

NASA Misses $5Trillion Funding Boost
'This must be a golden planet—this little asteroid.'

Kuwait Creates Mandatory DNA Database For Citizens
And who has the largest DNA database on its citizens?

Please, Please Let There Be Regenerated Teeth
'Toothbud transplants...'

Google AI 'Deep Dreams' Kubrick's 2001
'I was only trying to do what I thought best....'

The BLITAB: First Tactile Tablet for Blind People
Absolutely amazing development - now blind people can read the web!

Why, Oh Why, Must We Develop Robots That Run Faster Than I Do?
'The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power, like a cheetah's.'

Golf Robot Putts Out
'The robot solemnly hit a ball against the wall, picked it up and teed it, hit it again, over and again...'

Computer Finds Cancer Doctors Miss
The computer will see you now.

Would Robot Taxis Ease Carbon Emissions?
'He emerged and flagged down a robot taxi...'

Brainwaves As Biometric Identification
'The doors of Mr. Lars, Incorporated, shut, tuned as they were to his own cephalic pattern.'

What-If Machine Concocts Creative Premises
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.