Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Virtual Wave of the Future?

At the eTail West 2007 show in Palm Springs, Calif., I remember stepping into a virtual fitting room, consisting of a cylindrical unit where holographic imaging technology performed a 360-degree body scan in less than 10 seconds. Afterward, the unit provided me with a free computer printout that listed the brands and sizes for my fit.

The units, developed by Horsham, Pa.-based Intellifit, were being tested in stores such as After Hours, Levi’s Stores, and Fashion Bug. The chains installed the 50-sq.-ft. Intellifit unit into its floor space. When newspapers, magazines and TV shows got wind of the concept, they predicted the technology would forever change the way we shop.

However, I was quick to question whether or not this type of technology was too premature for our daily regimen. I later learned that the concept wasn't faring well in these chains. But I always thought that the idea could thrive online—where shoppers could get a better idea of how apparel would fit without having to try it on in a store.

It seems as though I’m not the only one that sees potential for technology like this in the e-commerce field. The ability to show consumers how a piece of clothing could fit them, without having them leave the comfy confines of their computer chair, could be a powerful shopping tool. And according to this article, perhaps the trend is already beginning…

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