Korean retailer Shinsegae creates 3D avatar of you in store

The first I-clothing store has made its appearance in South Korea. The shop, operated by South Korea’s second-largest department store chain, Shinsegae, is the first of its kind in the world. The virtual store is expected to help enhance customer choices and boost sales without having the consumers coming to pick the clothes in store.

The procedure is simple. At the shop, you enter a room where a three-dimensional scanner scans your body in detail in just ten seconds. Using that information, the system creates a 3-D personalized avatar for you. When you exit the room, you’ll meet your avatar on a large screen. Then you scan the RFID tag of an item you want to try on and it will appear on your avatar. The system also lets you select from a variety of other clothing options.

If the technology takes off it could change the way people shop, especially online. Many people are hesitant to buy clothes over the Internet because they can’t check how they fit. After a shopper has been scanned the information is encrypted and stored on a smart card for future shopping.

An official from Shinsegae’s system planning team said, “If this technology spreads to other sectors, I expect it could create a lot of new consumer-oriented businesses.”

“Through the use of precise body measurements and personalized avatars, a shopper can select clothes that he or she can put on in a virtual environment,” said Jung Dong-Chang, head of the textile team. Shoppers input their measurements (height, length of legs and arms, hips, waist, tights) onto a smart card that they can keep for a future purchase. “Anyone with this card will be able to easily try on and buy clothes using mobile phones and computers,” added Jung Dong-Chang. What’s more is that people can access the measurements of others in order to purchase gifts for friends and family, without fearing for the fit.

A Shinsegae official said the store plans to introduce the avatar technology on Shinsegae and E-Mart’s online shops by next year.

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