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03/04/2007

Digital Clothes Sizing

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  How many people return clothes because they are the wrong size? Whether you are buying clothes for yourself or someone else, online or on the high street getting the right size is very important. The fact that people often change size, and that many clothes shops use a proprietary sizing system makes this even harder.
  I propose a low cost 'webcam and laser line' appliance that projects an infra-red laser beam onto a customer's body and calculates accurate and complete measurements from its readings. It would only have to be accurate to the nearest size, so the scanning time would be minimal - only a few seconds. Low cost laser scanners do exist (search for DAVID 3D scanner, but they are far too detailed for this purpose, use the wrong frequency of light, and to be truly user friendly would need to be integrated in a single program. Once obtained, measurements could be shared amongst shops and an account (which could be accessed by online shops) could be created. As long as clothes retailers can provide accurate details of their sizing to the database, you could get the right size every time.
  Advantages to the consumer: always get the right size for yourself, or (with permission to use their account) someone else, wherever you buy clothes. Time saved returning items.
  Advantages to the retailer: improved revenues, greatly reduced return rates. Novelty of accurate sizing attracts more customers. Shops with the technology could even charge customers to create a sizing account on their behalf.
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