Clothing is one area of online shopping that's really
hit-or-miss: you can't try things on. And because different brands offer different cuts, ordering a particular size won't guarantee that it will fit.
Now, as the saying goes, there's an app for that. It was designed by doctoral students at the Computer Vision Center of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. After entering weight, body shape, age and height, the app provides an idea of whether a given piece of clothing will fit. It's being tested here for English speakers. (It even has a conversion function so Americans can use inches, feet and pounds).
The app asks what brands you want to buy — there are
six choices (Hugo Boss, H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch, Tommy Hilfiger, Zara
and The Gap).
For the body types, the researchers studied 50,000 people
and got that down to six basic types. The icons seem to go from toned and cut
to flabby-looking, making it unclear how many people will be honest. We all know that admitting you aren't the Adonis of your dreams isn't always easy.
The test version only works for men, though it will be sold with
a women's version as well. The app is integrated with an online clothing
store's Web site and has a range of prices depending on how much traffic the
site gets, anywhere from $99 per month to $549 per month.
The point is to accurately
reflect what size in a given brand the consumer should buy, and the site says
explicitly that it is designed to reduce returns and boost profits for online
retailers. With luck, it will reduce the frustrations of online clothing
shoppers as well.
via Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (in Spanish)
Credit: Universitat de Barcelona