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Toys Technology

Virtual Dummy To Try On Clothes 265

Roland Piquepaille writes "BBC News reports that Toshiba is working with a Japanese software company to create a 3-D fashion simulator that will allow virtual modelling and coordination of clothes, cosmetics and accessories in real time. This means that by as early as 2006, you will no longer have to contortion yourself in a minuscule fitting room. 'Video cameras snap the shopper, then clothes and accessories are selected and displayed immediately. The process of turning the images of the shopper into photo-realistic avatar -- or virtual representation -- happens in real-time.' This summary contains more details and references. It also contains images of a virtual model trying different clothes and accessories adapted to different backgrounds."
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Virtual Dummy To Try On Clothes

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  • Oh, great. (Score:5, Funny)

    by RatBastard ( 949 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @08:49PM (#8119287) Homepage
    Oh, great. A computer simulation of my big, fat butt. I am overcome with joy at the prospect.
    • Re:Oh, great. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Deraj DeZine ( 726641 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:30PM (#8119521)
      So what happens to these representations of people after they're done using the system? Does it remain there for others to laugh at (or do other, much less socially acceptable things with them)?
      • Well, according to the article, they can move as you move. I'm sure a lot of people would have a lot of fun with that.
    • Nope (Score:5, Insightful)

      by donutello ( 88309 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:37PM (#8119565) Homepage
      I fully expect that most retailers would have a version of the software in which your big, fat butt doesn't look quite as big or fat in the clothes you're modeling. People want to buy clothes that make them look good and it is the job of the software to convince them that they look good in those clothes.

      • Filters!

        Let's see...a cellulite filter, an acne filter, a bad hair day filter, a hangover elimination filter, a wrinkle remover, an age regression filter...etc...
      • Re:Nope (Score:3, Interesting)

        by XorNand ( 517466 )

        This is a game that designers have been playing for years. My mother was just bitching about it the other day. She just lost a bunch of weight and was trying on old clothes. She said her new clothes, now a size 10*, fit the exact same size has her clothes from 20 years ago that are a size 14*. I guess this was her current lunchroom banter at work that day.

        * Numbers used for illustrative purposes only. I have a better chance of winning a Nobel prize for discovering some break-through in econometics than I

    • Land's End (Score:4, Informative)

      by managerialslime ( 739286 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:40PM (#8119583) Journal
      Land's End (www.landsend.com) has had a jr. version of this for a long time.

      The model shows how dumpy I really look, regardless of color or outfit. As a result of experiencing the preview, I haven't bought anything from them in a couple of years.

      So using this technology this company is going to sell more clothes why?
      • Actually, I always felt like the Lands End model had a nicer figure than I do.

        And yes, after using their model to try on clothes, I quit shopping there, not consciously, it just happened.

        Course, if I try something on before I buy it, I generally don't end up buying it anyway, so no mirrors in the store is a good thing too...
  • Damn (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @08:49PM (#8119294)
    This means that by as early as 2006, you will no longer have to contortion yourself in a minuscule fitting room.

    And there goes the hidden cam live internet feed porn business ...
    • Re:Damn (Score:3, Funny)

      by D-Cypell ( 446534 )
      I have a feeling that any article that contains the phrase...

      "The process of turning the images of the shopper into photo-realistic avatar -- or virtual representation -- happens in real-time."
      ...is not something that will be largely detrimental to the porn industry.
    • And there goes the hidden cam live internet feed porn business ...

      Fsck that, now we have commerical software for avatar porn.

      Let me see, I'll take Spears in a Red Bra and matching panties set.

  • by Capt'n Hector ( 650760 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @08:49PM (#8119297)
    People don't try on cloths to see what the cloths look like. They can do that by just looking at them. People try cloths on to see how they fit - ie, how big their boobs/asses look.
    • You use cloths in your ass?
      Interesting ...
    • Unlike males, most women actually care about coordinating their clothes, with themselves but also with their hair style and make up. So this tool looks great for picking clothes to try. Much better than a paper catalog, even if the pictures are beautiful (actually, even more so, pictures of obnoxiously slim models are frustrating.)
      As for trying them, you're talking about a ritual that can't be pushed aside. Fit, yes, but that's also the only way of getting the feel of the clothes.
      • by RevRa ( 1728 ) <kate@@@loux...org> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:46PM (#8119632) Homepage Journal
        Exactly. There is no way in hell that I'll ever trust a computer simulation or robot to tell me how clothes are either going to look on me or how they're going to fit.

        I can pick out something that'll coordinate and look great on a manequin, but it'll look like crap on me. I don't care if the manequin is my identical twin, it's still not the same.

        Years ago I was given a free program at a women's expo...something virtual makeover whatever. I could scan a photo of myself, and try all sorts of makeup on the photo. I played with it for about 15 minutes before I decided that there's no way they could simulate what the makeup was going to look like on MY skin, and un-installed the program.

        I'm pretty confident the dummy/model/whatever would turn out the same way. Interesting to try once or twice, but I'd never rely on it or use it for any "serious" clothing/accessory purchase.

        • I'd never rely on it or use it for any "serious" clothing/accessory purchase.

          I don't think this will ever replace trying clothes on. But imagine going to the store and quickly cycling through pants/shirts... you give good ratings to the ones you think look good on you, then collect just clothes that you gave a good rating to.

          This seems a really efficient way of shopping, actually. Even if it's not a perfect match, you still get a general impression of what doesn't look good on you. Then you don't have

          • by RevRa ( 1728 ) <kate@@@loux...org> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @10:42PM (#8119976) Homepage Journal
            But you don't understand. Women are not about efficiency. :-) Shopping is an experience that cannot and should not be "computerized".

            Now, if they had some sort of system where I could say, "Find me one just like this but in size 12." THAT would be nice. Greppable clothing racks would be neat, perhaps there's a non-evil use for RFID after all?
            • Nope. Not gonna be like that at all. It's going to be like publish on demand.

              Samples of cloth will be available for your examination. Every known dress/blouse/whatever in the world will be in the computer system. Your "avatar" will not be a simple representation but a perfect model of you created by laser input and the garment you select will be cut and assembled in the back to fit you perfectly, not just a generic size.

              Brooks Brothers in NYC already does the laser fitting of men's suits. This "prediction
        • There's more to this that meets the eye. Err, your eyes anyway.

          Saaaaaay, don't you need a new swimsuit?
        • If you were a Muslim woman, I could code this for you in about 10 minutes. Any other religion may take some time.

          All you'd have to do is scan the face of a woman from the eyebrows to the chin and stick it on a model covered head to toe. Before any of you start screaming about religious tolerance, recall the swimsuits of the 1920's and 1930's in America. About the same.
        • As well there's comfort issues. It might look great but if it's really tight somewhere I don't want it. And what about things like sitting, leaning over, etc to see how something gaps and shifts. If I'm going to own it and wear it, at least I can try wearing it before shelling out the $$.
    • People don't try on cloths to see what the cloths look like. They can do that by just looking at them. People try cloths on to see how they fit - ie, how big their boobs/asses look.

      Exactly. What's preventing this computer from making the clothes appear in the simulation to fit perfectly, when in fact they wouldn't fit or look that great in real life, thereby tricking the shopper into buying something they normally wouldn't?
      • Um, avoiding one of the most costly aspects of retail sales--returns?
      • Bah, sales people have been doing this for hundreds of years. Their job (just like the computer's job) is getting you to by something. The salesperson may *tell* you it'd look great wrapped around your spare tire, but a computer can *show* you. Not sure how this will do with women, they tend to be less visually oriented than men. I imagine they'd want the computer to talk to them and let them touch fabrics also. Christopher Lowell would be the perfect voiceover for something like this.

        "oooh that really l
    • That's exactly why they model the avatar after you, so you can see how it fits.

      You could virtually try on 15 sets of clothes in a minute, and then go try the one you settled for IRL. And it would always give you the correct sizes to try out..

      Sounds like a great deal to me. I hate shopping...
      • There's more to how something fits than how it looks -- how it actually _feels_ to be wearing is something else to consider. Clothing may look just fine but still be damn uncomfortable. So how will looking at yourself in a computer screen convey this information?
    • People don't try on cloths to see what the cloths look like. They can do that by just looking at them. People try cloths on to see how they fit - ie, how big their boobs/asses look.

      ya, sure. but what about when you're shopping for your wife/gf and don't want to drag them along to see how clothes will fit her? wouldn't it be handy to just have a model of her body that you could take to a store with you?

      also, some people don't like trying on clothes that ten other sweaty people tried on before you.
      there's
      • That's actually a cool idea. Have a memory stick with your wife/mom/girlfriend/so's 3d scan on it (along with other goodies like favorite colors, past purchases that may coordinate), pop it in the kiosk, and voila, the size that should fit in a color she should like. I can see this being a good deal for everyone. The store tracks your purchases and is able to market what you like...you get something that fits and matches..you don't look like a dolt for forgetting your woman doesn't wear a 36 double d bra.
        • 1. I find it slightly disturbing that you included "your mom" in there.
          2. Most of us would be more likely to have the problem of forgetting we don't have a woman, rather than forgetting how big her tits are. Or is that why you included "your mom"?
    • People try cloths on to see how they fit

      That's pretty much it in a nutshell... some more objections:

      - fitting rooms are *cheap*, cameras / computers / displays to do all this is *expensive*; therefore it will only be used for high-end clothing - and folks that buy high-end clothing probably don't use fitting rooms anyway

      - not every piece of clothing is cut identically, less common now depending on the supplier (or even 20 years ago)

      - as Capt'n Hector put it, you try something on to see how it fits
  • Hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @08:50PM (#8119303) Homepage Journal
    Is my coffee defective, or is this concept just underwhelming?
    • Doesn't this already exist for haircuts? I don't know a single hairdresser that has this, but then again I don't know much hairdressers, since my mother is one and we all know nobody can beat 'for free'. But I think she received an advertisement for it a few years back..
    • Somebody showed me a business plan for a company looking for seed capital to do exactly this back in late '99. Even _then_ it was underwhelming, and that's saying something.
  • by slifox ( 605302 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @08:50PM (#8119304)
    After these roll out, how long would it be until the software is modified to bias how you look?

    It could make you more "perfect," and you would buy that dress!
  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @08:50PM (#8119312) Journal
    I don't think they should have used "start with a naked model" and "seduce even men" in the same article. :-)

  • by Sean80 ( 567340 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @08:51PM (#8119316)
    Of course, the obvious (perhaps completely unfunny) joke is what's the point of putting clothes on the dummy when you can, well, have her naked?

    I defy anybody to be able to make my clothes match up though, what with this being /. and all. We shall not be cool!

  • you will no longer have to contortion yourself in a minuscule fitting room


    Gee, I hate when I have to contortion myself anywhere. To even have to contort myself, grammatically correctly no less, would be even more brutal.
  • by El ( 94934 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @08:51PM (#8119319)
    My wife has been calling me a "virtual dummy" for years! Think I should apply for this job?
  • Fitting rooms (Score:2, Informative)

    The problem with this is that fitting rooms are to see how the particular garment actually fits. It's one thing to see how it looks on you, but to figure out whether you need a medium or large, you need to try the clothes on.
  • by aralin ( 107264 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @08:51PM (#8119322)
    How long before large shopping chains will start to hack these programs to alter the shopper's virtual body to fit the clothes better, so they can make better sales?
  • by dsplat ( 73054 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @08:51PM (#8119323)
    First of all, the same size is never the same size is never the same size. If you really want to know whether the clothes fit, you have to put them on. A second, related point is whether the clothes are comfortable. No matter how good they look, in the end you need to wear them.
  • Would it show cameltoes if you put on something too tight ?

    Can you put it in chains ?

  • By 2006?! (Score:5, Informative)

    by IthnkImParanoid ( 410494 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @08:53PM (#8119345)
    I take the summary (about to leave work, can't RTFA) to mean that "Toshiba and a Japanese software company" haven't started the project, much less come up with a working prototype. Since getting stores to buy and use (and therefore test) this sort of thing would take a couple years, I'll believe this isn't vaporware when it's in the first store.

    Maybe they're working on my flying car, too.
    • The technology to do this is already pretty commonly available; oddly enough, one of the major developers in the field (Curious Labs) was just purchased by a japanese company...
      But seriously, folks, this wouldn't be hard, not even to do well, only some really basic python added on to a existing product.
      I still think it will bomb, except for online retailing but it should be great for that.
  • bah.. I remember when VRML was all the rage, and this sort of tripe was bandied around as the "Next Big Thing". Seems no-one learned the lessons back then that this kind of defeats the point of shopping !

    I mean, look on the street - how many people are actually clothing co-ordinated ? Those folks from Queer Eye would have a field day in the UK. What is important about shopping, especially clothes shopping is the feel of the garment, the feel of the fit etc. And if going by what my girlfriend does, impulse
  • She's not a virtual dummy, she's brunette :-)
  • Yeah right. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wideBlueSkies ( 618979 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @08:59PM (#8119384) Journal
    I don't see how you could buy clothing without trying it on.

    How many times have you run into clothes that are either mislabeled, or cut too small?

    I've learned the hard way that it's always better to spend the 10 minutes trying stuff on in the store, rather than spend an hour on a return trip.

    So I think this modelling scheme is useless. Unless of course that XL shirt is really an XL and not an L.

    Also, you need to experience how clothes feel. Do they look cool when you look in the mirror? Do they feel good on you? Does that sweater itch your arms? A model can't tell you this.

    I'm all for progress, but it has to be practical. Especially when it involves me spending money on something.

    wbs.

    You always need to try on clothes.
    • Re:Yeah right. (Score:3, Informative)

      I don't see how you could buy clothing without trying it on.

      I (and many other men, I'm assuming) do it all the time. We do the hold it up to our body thing (mentioned earlier), but frequently I'll just get my general size. Oh, I wear medium shirts so just buy medium shirts (especially if I stick with a certain brand). There's none of this garbage that women deal with where a size 1 at one place is a size 5 at another or whatever because pants are 33 inches in the waist and 34 inches long. Period.

      I
      • Re:Yeah right. (Score:3, Informative)

        >>There's none of this garbage that women deal with where a size 1 at one place is a size 5 at another or whatever because pants are 33 inches in the waist and 34 inches long.

        Not always true. 36 waist isn't always 36. Sometimes it's 37, sometimes it's 34. Even length can vary.

        wbs.
        • Slight differences don't matter enough to get me to try the stuff on. I just purchase a size that I know is going to be big enough and wear a belt (and/or roll the cuff up). This strategy works fine for anything short of a business suit.

    • by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionaryNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @10:05PM (#8119752) Journal
      Hey, it's better than looking at a picture in a catalog, and people have been buying clothes that way for years.
    • I don't try much on before i buy it... i know how big i am... if you're a bloke sizes tend to be fairly accurate. Hold the pants against your leg to see how long they are, fold them around your neck to see if they'll fit your waist...
  • by allrong ( 445675 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:00PM (#8119395) Homepage
    How long before the representations are secretly tweaked (displaywaist = size 6) so that the shopper will "look good" in the clothes? And I can see the tie-ins with advertisers, with avatars saying things like:

    "Hi shopper, this is what you look like now, but here's what you would look like (shrinks waist) if you go the XXX diet!".

    Just wait until the kids start hacking it!

  • Precedent (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Snowspinner ( 627098 ) *
    Interesting, though seemingly unremarkable - I believe Pixar already has a program whereby you can scan in a McCall's pattern, and it will sew the garment and fit it to one of their characters...
  • Some of you may remember that cheezy 80s serie called Street Hawk [geocities.com] (basically a motorcycle version of Knight Rider). I remember seeing in the pilot episode something really clever : the hero was hired to ride this super-duper motorcycle (secret mission and all) and, to make his bike outfit, was asked to step into a clear tube, then the tube filled up with some foam to take a "print" of his entire body, then 5 minutes later, some magic computer spewed out a custom bike clothe set for him.

    Street Hawk's cheesi
  • by MajorDick ( 735308 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:20PM (#8119454)
    The Barbie dress up program.
    But who the hell can tell if something looks good on a screen ?

    There is a LOT more to looking good than just "the clothes" or the style of the clothes.

    Anyone who owns an Armani or HSM will attest to what I am talking about.
  • Because its really so hard to walk ten feet and try on new clothes. On another note when I try on clothes I like to see how they feel(ie too tight/loose), and I like to see what it looks like up close in a mirror, also what if the computer some how manipulated the clothes to make you look better than you really do look? Your probably just going to end up trying them on eventually anyways. And besides, is it really that difficult to visualize yourself with a shirt on ? I should hope not. This is a stupid

  • "Objects in mirror are less attractive than they appear."


    Off course, if the clothes are wrong for you, the store's computer and salespeople will tell you so instead of taking your money and letting you walk out with embarrassing clothing...

  • The real virtual dummy will be holding his wife's purse while SHE tries on clothes.
  • In many instances, I'm as concerned with how things feel and move on me (say, a nice suit, or a jacket, or a different cut of pants than I usually buy) as I am with how they look. I see a shortcoming.

  • This will never catch on. Clothing is a lot more than "how it looks" but also how it feels on your bod. I hat shopping for things, but even though my wife knows what size I ware and what I like, I still want to know that I am comfortable in the stuff.
  • But how will I know whether the clothes fit?

    Next...
  • How long before these virtual models are available on porn sites for...people other than lonely geeks like myself...to dress / undress.
  • by PMcGovern ( 13300 ) * on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:46PM (#8119627)
    Land's End has offered virtual models for trying on clothes for a number of years.

    To see it in action, go to their site. [landsend.com] and click on 'My Model' in the upper left corner.

  • You just know they're going to incorporate this idea into an episode of Will & Grace next season.
  • This may be OK for a fairly busy store......let people take a quick glance at how they look in something, but people are still going to want to try on the clothes. The reason being that every piece of clothing wears differently, and even the same product can be different because of cutting/stitching deviations.

    However, I DO see this being very big with all of the online clothing stores. Get your image scanned in at the physical store (or send in an image) and the software lets you browse their store at ho

  • Naked model (Score:3, Funny)

    by chunkwhite86 ( 593696 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:49PM (#8119660)
    Cool. Does this mean we will get to see naked photo-realistic avatars of all the other shoppers too??

    If so, I'm going to start taking my girlfriend underwear shopping more often ;-)
  • Who created that 3D model of the nude chick? It couldn't have been a geek.

    You'd have to have access to an attractive naked chick to make a 3D model of one. ;-)
  • by Thagg ( 9904 ) <thadbeier@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:58PM (#8119719) Journal
    There's a company in Burbank called CyberFX [cyberfx.com] which has been doing 3D scanning for years using Cyberware scanners. They did all the obvious things with the technology -- reverse engineering, prototyping, sculpture scaling (they did the massive baseball glove a PacBell park), porno (scanning and sculpting rich guys' girlfriends), scanning actors for CG doubles in movies.

    What they really hit it big with, though, is dressmaking dummies. In the past, dummies were built by hand, and they were just not very good. They didn't match people very well, and each one was different. Now, (say) DKNY sends their size 4, 6, 8, 10 models to CyberFX, they get scanned, and perfect copies are sent to all the dressmaking facilities around the world. Actors have dummies made that match them perfectly, so wardrobe departments can make clothes that fit perfectly.

    Dick Cavdek, who runs the company, has come up with significant mechanical advances on dummies, too, so that they are sturdy, light, and can be broken down to be shipped easily.

    I went by there a few years ago, and was absolutely amazed by how one guy just revolutionized an industry.

    thad
  • by Trogre ( 513942 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @10:00PM (#8119724) Homepage
    'Video cameras snap the shopper, then clothes and accessories are selected and displayed immediately.

    And I suppose the virtual models tell you which bits chafe?

  • I just love this comment from the article: "... could cut down unnecessary time wasted wriggling in and out of garments, and prevent impatient finger-tapping of waiting friends and partners". I don't know about other people, but I spend a lot more time looking at myself with the garments on in front of the mirror, thinking wether I have any clothes or accessories to match, and deciding if this is a waste of money. If you are spending that much time wriggling, maybe you picked clothes that are 4 sizes too s
  • by spoonboy42 ( 146048 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @10:01PM (#8119733)
    Reading the article, I notice that the digital model starts off nude, then has clothes rendered onto it. In order for these photorealistic images of a person in new clothes to be generated, it would seem that the software requires a nude scan of said person. Of course, the person could be scanned while clothed, but you'd really just be rendering new clothes on top of the old ones (which, in the software, would take on the rigidity of flesh). It might be possible to design an algorithm to "strip" the scans, but the accuracy would be limited by the varying bagginess of whatever the person is wearing.

    Naturally, privacy and convenience concerns arise when one is asked to submit to a nude, full-body digital scan in order to use the new fitting system. The store could keep scans on file, making this a one-time affair, but unless a secure crypto system (wherein only the customer possesses the key) is implemented, the potential for creepy abuse is enormous.

    One solution I can think of, however, is to do the scan in a private booth while the customer is only wearing underwear (most undergarments being tight-fitting enough as to not affect the image of the clothing being worn). This is still more convenient than going through a stack of clothes to try on, as the user needs only "change" once. The model for the system could be deleted after use, or the customer could elect to store it on a USB memory stick they bring with them, updating it only occasionally as their physical appearance changes significantly (it could even be stored centrally if a department store chain, or better yet a consortium of them, decides to implement a truly secure system).

    It's true that this system doesn't offer as good a "feel" for clothing as actually trying on outfits. For men or women on the go, however, it could drastically reduce time spent clothes shopping. Imagine browsing through the latest fashions at home, picking out a few you like, then heading to the Department store, where they have everything you picked out, in your size, ready for you to try on (and you'll still want to, if for no other reason than to gauge the comfort of the clothing and verify the program's accuracy). An hours-long shopping trip could be reduced to a managable 10-15 minutes.

    Of course, my wardrobe consists mostly of items from Goodwill or Thinkgeek, so this is of little utility to me. Nonetheless, it has some potential to make life a lot more convenient for my girlfriend, my sister, etc.
    • People aren't going to get naked to buy clothes. Maybe they would go down to underwear. Maybe they would do it once and save it for later so that they didn't have to do it again until they changed size - unfortunately that would entail giving anyone access to your profile online, which wouldn't be so bad as long as it's just a set of points and not a picture.

      Alternatively, you could use terahertz [slashdot.org] imaging to scan the body through clothes.
    • No doubt with a few quick body measurements they could just stretch a premade model to match your proportions.

      Or there's also the T-ray camera that can take black and white nude photos through most clothing.
  • Video cameras snap the shopper, then clothes and accessories are selected and displayed immediately.

    You walk by a store front in the mall, and the display in the window is comprised of 1/2 dozen virtual mannequins that ALL LOOK JUST LIKE YOU and are wearing 1/2 dozen different outfits....hope it can accurately spot male/female :)
  • back in 1970 i helped out with a somewhat similar project at the Royal College of Art in London (i was writing 3d mapping software at the time). Some lucky students got to digitise real-live naked girls.
    the 3d-figures were used in a program that "hung" student's dress designs on them .. the hardware wasn't fantastic but it did work.. but it was a great excuse to closely examine some very pretty girls' bodies
  • I worked for an hosting service and we hosted JC-Penny's version of tis. The virtual manequin, it was all 3D and everything, so I'm not too sure what's so inovative with this. You could set your manequin to match your shape (required some hard honesty, I'm sure) and put clothes on it to see how they fit. I wonder if they still do it, I know for sure that we aren't hosting that anymore.
  • by angst_ridden_hipster ( 23104 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @10:29PM (#8119886) Homepage Journal
    During the dotcom years, I remember meeting with a client who represented a company that was going to put 3d scanning stations in malls for this very purpose.

    "It's simple!" sez their Marketroid. "You go into the booth, strip, get a full body scan, and then we upload the 3d model to our Microsoft Passport(tm)-like service. Then, any participating online retailer will be able to recommend sizes, show you how you personally would look in any outfit, and do dynamic upselling by showing how much better the Gucci looks."

    They even had a plan to implement realtime draping/rendering software so you could get photo-realistic images of yourself in those clothes. They thought that boyfriends would finally be able to buy clothes for their girlfriends. They thought that geeks would start getting color coordination.

    My first thought was: how many people are going to let some bizarre company photograph them in their underwear (or less), just so that company could better market to them?

    My next thought was: nobody reads the disclaimer they sign. I'll set up booths in malls, and run a voyeur web site, and people will even pay to model!

    My next thought was: Jesus, I've gone as insane as these lunatics. I need a drink.

    Needless to say, they burned through a lot of money, and it never went anywhere. Some guys got some nice SGI hardware out of it for the software side. The "idea people" probably got nice fat salaries for a while, and then had to go back to selling life insurance or flipping burgers or something.

    Jesus, do I miss those days!

  • I attended a presentation by a company trying to do something like this in Pittsburgh a few years back when I was hunting for a job. I'm pretty sure that company died soon after, but I can't recall their name...

    They were working on a mathematical system to model dropping cloth over a surface, so online stores could let people try clothes on 3d models with their dimensions. I thought it was an interesting idea, but decided that I didn't want to interview with them as I expected they wouldn't make it. I w
  • Is this really meant as a replacement for the fitting room? It seems like it accomplishes two things to me.. 1) It lets the shopper try a wide range of different looks and styles really quickly. Instead of having to try everything on to see what it looks like, you can use this as sort of a shopping filter to see if that shirt and those pants really DO go together. After you have a few outfit combinations that you like, you then actually try them on for fit and 'real world' look. This is a GOD SEND for any m
  • by ozbird ( 127571 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @10:35PM (#8119929)
    I don't try on clothes to see how they look - I can see what hideously colours and styles they have just by looking at the rack. I try on clothes to find out how they feel - if it isn't comfortable, I ain't wearing it (even if my bum doesn't look fat...)
  • by solprovider ( 628033 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @10:44PM (#8119995) Homepage
    In early 2000, I consulted with a company that handles much of the B2B for the fashion industry. This functionality was discussed as part of a B2C add-on. They wanted it, and were trying to price it, but many factors made it difficult:

    1. The audience was mostly female. Most men would not bother with the system. And women were less likely to be buying on the web. So the ROI was difficult to justify. (This and some of the following include sexual stereotypes. There is a reason they are sterotypes.)

    2. Most women will lie about their body size. Could we automatically adjust the virtual bodies up one size? Yes, but that would upset the honest women. Would women be honest when their purchasing decisions depended on it? Since the system was not built, this was never answered.

    3. Would women even enter all the information needed? Height, weight, waist, inseam, bust, shoulders, arm length, neck width, circumference of biceps and thighs. Think of all the measurements that a tailor makes. Now expect women to enter all that for each website that uses the system, and update it when their shape changes. (Very few people are the same size in January after the holiday eating as they are in September after Summer's outdoor activities.)

    4. Would women be concerned that there is a complete record of how their body changes? My mentioning this was a little ahead of the times, as privacy concerns were not in your face then. But would you like a system that remembered every time you added a few pounds?

    5. The model would need to show how clothes drape over the body form. We would need incredible horsepower to run the system. We already knew all the details of the fabrics as part of the B2B system that helped designers choose appropriate fabrics for their creations. That part was just programming, but 3D modeling is CPU-intensive. (I recommended hiring some game-engine programmers to optimize the system.)

    6. How are the clothes shown? Do we offer choices for whether a blouse is tucked in, and how tightly? How many buttons are fastened? The width of a belt, and exactly where it is worn?

    7. Could we show several products at the same time? This one had us baffled, especially if we were to combine products from several companies. The company hoped to set up a single website that the branded websites would pass buyers. I do not know if the fashion companies would have done this. The largest companies have a complete line, so would prefer to buy the technology for their own website.

    ---
    The company sold software. I was recommending that the software be free, but that the company take a (very small) cut of each transaction. They were already discovering that people were using their free-but-limited version to not pay for the full-featured version, even if the customers had to type much of the information in the comments. The company asked me to make it impossible to use the free version for the main tasks that were in the full version. I recommended making the full version (their cash cow) free, but providing a central clearinghouse to handle the transactions. My recommendations were presented to the president of the company. The company was bought later that year and I have not heard from them since.

    I just looked up the company that bought them, and they have several press releases this month about winning new customers for their "product lifecycle" software, so they are still active as software sellers, but they do not own the B2B fashion market as I recommended.
  • by ONOIML8 ( 23262 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @10:51PM (#8120060) Homepage
    I smell a lawsuit comming on. As soon as SCO realizes these people are using virtual dummies....after all that would be a virtual Darl, right?

  • i go clothes shopping with my wife quite often (can you hear that whip cracking sound?) and its amazing what a wide variety of garments seem to pass off as being the same size.

    i'm even worse. I am 95% pragmatic in my clothing purchases, which means when i try on a pair of pants, i put my normal cargo load in the pockets, sit down, stand up, walk around, etc. Most garments fail the load-pockets-and-sit-down test (i have fat legs).

    when i try on coats i try sitting, standing, buttoned, unbuttoned, and so o
  • 1. Black trousers, good fit or one size too large + belt (black).
    2. Black jumper/pullover or, if feeling adventurous, dark-coloured checked shirt.
    3. Black socks and black shoes/boots.
    4. Underwear, colour not important. (Black?)

    This has successfully kept me clothed, warm and unlaid for years. IT CAN WORK FOR YOU!!
  • Seems like it is running on OS X based on the pics in that last link. Do they plan on calling it the iModel? perhaps the Queer iFor the Straight Guy?

    Sorry, I need a vacation.

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