Digital Clothes and the Coming Virtual Fitting Room


Soon, walking past a window like this may be all you have to do to try on new clothes.


Bring on the virtual fitting room. This month, CES 2015 – the Consumer Electronics Show – hit with a vengeance. It was the biggest show to date breaking all kinds of attendance records. While most of the tech on display had something to do with drones, wearables or smart devices, there was one very different, albeit interesting, offering from international electronics giant, Toshiba.

Dubbed simply as the “Virtual Fitting Solution” this device enables window shoppers to virtually try on the latest clothing trends, simply by standing in front of a store window. The system incorporates a large vertical digital screen with a front-facing camera that senses when a passer-by stops. Then, following a series of on-screen instructions, the shopper is prompted to take a variety of poses, which actually serve as gesture-based commands (think Microsoft Kinect).

The shopper can then see an image of herself “wearing” a variety of clothing offered by the retailer. The effect is achieved by superimposing a digital image of the clothing over the live video of the shopper. It’s pretty convincing and a great way to get a quick idea of how the latest fashion trends will look on the shopper without the hassle of actually going inside a store, finding the right size, waiting on a fitting room, getting undressed, trying on the clothes only to discover that you hate how it looks, and then getting re-dressed. If nothing else, it saves shoppers from the temptation of opening yet another store credit card just to get an extra 20% off if you buy today.

Projecting a few years forward, we can only assume it’s just a matter of time before the first entirely virtual shopping mall is available as an app on Oculus Rift where shoppers try out digital surrogates of clothes and devices, before they click to buy. For those who hate the mall, this could be a dream come true. Our only concern now is how will we get our Cinnabon?

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