Kinect Camera Provides Shoppers a Virtual Dressing Room

February 12, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. replica (n.) – a copy of something, usually smaller than the original
Example: Usually, souvenirs from a foreign country are keychain replicas of famous landmarks.

2. convenient (adj.) – suitable to one’s comfort or needs
Example: It is convenient to buy food from fast food chains when in a hurry.

3. avail (v.) – to use to one’s advantage
Example: Elderly people can avail “senior discounts” in some establishments.

4. simulate (v.) – to copy a condition or appearance of something
Example: Astronauts train under conditions that simulate those in space.

5. challenge (n.) – a test of one’s abilities to accomplish something
Example: He is up for the challenge of making new cures to newly discovered diseases.

Read the text below.

Using a system created by a company called Bodymetrics, it is now possible to try on clothes without actually wearing them.

Combined with technology from Microsoft’s Kinect camera, the new virtual fitting system creates 3D replicas of customers that show not only customers’ body measurements but also their movements. Through their 3D versions, customers can see how a selection of clothes will look on them in real life.

This technology could prove to be very useful to online shoppers. According to Bodymetrics CEO Suran Goonatilake, even though many people shop online, 90% of them still prefer to buy clothes in actual stores. With Bodymetrics’ system, online shoppers can check if the clothes “fit” before buying them, just like in real-world stores.  In the future, similar systems could be used in shopping sites like Amazon or installed in Smart TVs, and people can enjoy convenient shopping anywhere, anytime.

In the meantime, real-world stores Selfridges and New Look in the UK are already using this body-mapping system, and some US-based stores are also planning to adopt it by summer this year. However, Goonatilake will still not reveal which stores will avail it.

But even if virtual fitting lets customers see how clothes look on them, simulating what the clothes feel like when worn may be the next big challenge for system developers.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think that online shopping is better than traditional way of shopping? Why or why not?
·         What do you think will be the effect of online shopping to real-world stores?

Discussion B

·         Has the Internet made people’s lives simpler or more complicated? Please explain your answer.
·         If you can invent a technology that will make people’s lives easier, what would that be like?


February 12, 2012