The only small physical space people like to spend less time in than a locker room is a portable toilet, and even then, it’s close. We tend to approach trying on pants in a department store like defusing a bomb. If it doesn’t look right, just quickly evacuate the building.
This is probably why Walmart is launching the Be Your Own Model virtual fitting room that allows users to upload semi-naked (no!) photos of themselves and try on clothes in a somewhat realistic way. It doesn’t just artificially overlay the image, it shows shadows and how the fabric could cover you.
Walmart says the augmented reality technology involves “techniques originally used to develop high-precision topographic maps,” meaning that if the technology can develop topographic maps of Cleveland, it can handle your body.
The feature could be particularly useful when trying on a shirt that comes in several different sizes. The XL can end up looking baggy and the small too tight. “I look uncomfortable in those pants,” you might say to yourself.
Walmart launched its Choose Your Model virtual fitting room in May. It currently allows customers to choose from 50 models with various body types and heights and find the one that most closely resembles them (and would tie in a fight). It is made possible by the company’s acquisition of the Zeekit virtual testing platform.
Over 270,000 items of women’s clothing can be tried on virtually (sorry folks). As of September 15, 2022, the feature is available on iPhones in the Walmart app. It will be open to Android users in a few weeks, according to Walmart.
Other companies that want to see more of you
Companies seem to be gradually lining up to see half-naked people, even if no one else wants to. Amazon Halo View, a wearable fitness device meant to compete with Fitbit, features a “Body” tool that lets you upload images of yourself “scantily clad” in order to estimate your body fat as you go.
It has all the dignity of being weighed down in the doctor’s office, but with the obvious added privacy and security concerns. Sign me up.
All this is nothing new. Years ago, the TSA removed its naked body scanner program after a protracted battle over privacy, so if a person now goes through one, the software only shows a generic outline. As for clothing, at least Amazon is only using this kind of feature for your feet right now (maybe that’s creepier).
All this is the main reason why I expect clones. I have no interest in uploading semi-nude or fully clothed photos to any app, but I also hate changing rooms. So when the clones come out, I’ll just send mine out to try on clothes.
“And get it in black,” I’ll add.