Anyone who hates shopping as much as I do will know that the one thing it’s really hard to buy online is clothing.

In part, that’s because you often need to feel the material, but mostly it’s because stated sizes can be incredibly unreliable. One firm is hoping to change that, fitting a 3D body scanner in changing rooms, and then letting you know exactly which sizes to order from a range of brands …

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The idea of installing 3D body scanners in changing rooms isn’t new. But the thinking to date has been that the measurements are made available to the store, which then knows which sizes to offer you to try on. Alternatively, in high-end outlets, it can provide the measurements needed for bespoke tailoring.

But one company thinks it has a better approach. Instead of providing the detailed body measurements to the store, it sends them to you, via an app. To protect your modesty, the measurements are deleted from the machine itself afterwards.

Engadget’s Daniel Cooper had a chance to try it out for himself, describing the experience as delivering some ‘hard truths’ about his body shape.

The scan itself takes a couple of seconds, and then it takes around half a minute for the system to crunch the data and show you a rough 3D avatar. Tell it your height and weight, and the app will then show you your Neck, Shoulder, Chest, Bicep, Torso, Arm, Waist, Thigh, Hip and Inner Leg measurements.

But the best bit is what happens next.

After half a minute, which is long enough to have a hard think about your life choices up until this point, the app shows off its other big trick. TG3D has accumulated clothes measurements from a variety of retailers including Roots, Nike, Adidas, H&M and Zara. Combined with your vital statistics, the app can tell you what sizes you should look for in store or online.

You may find the scanners hard to find as yet – there are just 60 in use around the world. But the company is hoping the relatively affordable $15k price-tag will make it appealing to shopping malls and department stores. And once you have your measurements, you may be saved from the need to visit any of them in person …


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