Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fitbot, a robot that tries on clothes for you before you buy has come up with a new prototype of their robotic manikin, or 'FitBot', for virtual dressing rooms. It allows people who buy their clothes on the web to preview what the garments would look like on their own body. You enter the various sizes of your body into the website, and it will return to you an image of the FitBot with those sizes, wearing the item you selected.

This appears to be a very complicated system for this purpose, especially when you consider the enormous amount -hundreds if not thousands- of variations that the FitBot needs to be photographed in for each piece of clothing. But it's worth it: the sales to new customers of clothes retailer Hawes and Curtis have gone up by an impressive 57%.

The ideal technology here would of course be to see a fully robotic or at least a very advanced software version of yourself in a fitting room, linked to the movements of your own body. Who knows, maybe we will have our first experience in a virtual body in the consumerist context of shopping. But it seems to be unavoidable that one day it's going to be quite common to have virtual out of body experiences during the activities of everyday life.

Here is a video that shows the prototype in action: