We’ve all had that problem when online shopping. You’ve found a dress that looks absolutely perfect. But when it arrives after an anxious wait, you are left disappointed to find it is too big, small, short or baggy. It makes us many of us sceptical on online shopping when this occurs. However, new technology created in Hong Kong Polytechnic University aims to alleviate this common occurrence.
In March of this year, associate professor Tracy P.Y. Mok and PhD graduate Zhu Shuaiyin, created the 1measure technology. Users begin by uploading two full body shots to the program. From this, “the system can accurately reconstruct the 3D shape of a person and extract over 50 size measurements” in as little as 5 to 10 seconds. The technology also allows for the prediction of underbody measurement based on a dataset of 10,000 human scale models.
This technology is far superior to previous automatic shape modelling technologies, including scan and image-based. Not only does it minimise the need for a bulky and expensive scanner, 1measure is also extremely accurate, tests showed the discrepancies in tight-fitting and loose-fitting clothing were found to be “less than 1 cm and 2 cm respectively”. This advancement may prove to be a success in the digital marketing sphere, especially in regards to online retailers.
However, new technologies, such as these, have called into question the ethics behind how we shop. Firstly, with retail stores employing over 1.2 million Australians, technologies such as these may make their jobs as assistants redundant in store. The retail sector is a major stepping stone for many young Australian into the workforce and with many struggling to afford their lifestyle, technologies such as these could greatly affect the economic outlook.
Secondly is the question of how online stores may use the data created by the software. Customers must question whether they feel comfortable with there size, weight and body proportions could potentially be stored by a number of online browsers.
Thus I leave you readers to question this. Although advancements in technology can be helpful, how do we ensure the prosperity of the retail industry for the future? Furthermore, would you feel comfortable sharing information about your body online?