Banish muffin tops forever! Online 'virtual tape measure' promises an end to ill-fitting clothes…and a perfect fit in EVERY shop
Body Shape Recognition for Online Fashion builds on technology used in The Sims computer gameWeb-based body-scanner would operate via webcam or smartphone
Advises online shoppers what size to selectCurrently, 30-60% garments bought online are returned to shop
11:29 GMT, 21 November 2012
Are you a size 10 in New Look, an eight in Gap and a 14 in Top Shop Aren't we all.
And are you bored of never knowing whether to plump for a small, medium or large in Zara
A revolutionary 'virtual tape measure' – known as Body Shape Recognition For Online Fashion – promises to make badly fitting clothes (and even badly lit fitting rooms) a thing of the past, advising the user on which size dress, trouser or top they should buy in every retailer.
Currently, between 30 and 60 per cent of all clothes bought online are returned to the shop, and the new virtual tape measure aims to reduce the amount
The web-based body-scanner would take detailed measurements of the body via webcam or smartphone, create a 3D image of the user, then advise on which size garment to buy whenever they visit the website of a participating retailer.
Taking multiple measurements of the body, the system aims to ensure the best possible fit, saving shoppers and retailers millions of pounds a year in return postage costs, as well as eliminating the need to send back clothes that are the wrong size or fit.
Currently, between 30 and 60 per cent of all clothes bought online are returned to the shop.
The new process could revolutionise online clothes-shopping for both the retailer and the consumer
Body scanning is already starting to make
a mark in the clothing retail sector, but these often involve the user stepping into a machine that 'photocopies' the body.
The new software – being developed by London College of Fashion and computer vision experts at the University of Surrey – requires only a photo of the user in their underwear, their height, and an internet connection.
Philip Delamore from London College of Fashion said: 'The potential benefits for the fashion
industry and for shoppers are huge.
'Currently, it's common for
online shoppers to order two or three different sizes of the same item
of clothing at the same time, as they’re unsure which one will fit
Professor Adrian Hilton from the
University of Surrey says: 'It's unrealistic to expect online clothes
shoppers to have the time or inclination to take a series of highly
accurate body measurements of themselves. The new system makes it all
The 18-month project Body Shape Recognition for Online Fashion is being developed in collaboration with body-mapping specialists Bodymetrics and digital creative agency Guided.
Some 18,000 of funding is being provided by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
The research builds on previous work by the University of Surrey in developing 3D body-shape templates from single-view images, which has been used commercially in creating animated representations of people for games such as The Sims.
Plans to launch the new system are anticipated within two years
The new system builds up a detailed image of body measurements, making it much easier for the shopper to order the correct size for their body dimensions