Walmart

The only small physical space people like to spend less time in than a change room is a portable toilet, and even then, it’s close. We tend to approach trying on pants in a department store like defusing a bomb. If it doesn’t look good, just quickly evacuate the building.

This is probably why Walmart is launching the Be Your Own Model virtual fitting room that allows users to upload half-naked photos of themselves (nope!), and try on clothes in a somewhat realistic manner. It doesn’t merely overlay the image in an artificial-looking way but displays shadows and how the fabric might drape over you.

Walmart says the augmented reality technology involves “techniques originally utilized in developing highly accurate topographic maps,” which means if the technology can develop topographic maps of Cleveland, it can handle your body.

The feature could be particularly useful when trying on a shirt that comes in several different sizes. The XL may end up actually looking baggy and the small too tight. “I look uncomfortable in those pants,” you might say to yourself.

Walmart

Walmart launched its Choose Your Model virtual fitting room in May. It currently allows customers to choose from 50 models with various body types and heights and find the one who most closely resembles them (and would tie in a fight). It’s made possible by the company’s acquisition of the virtual try-on platform Zeekit.

Over 270,000 items of women’s apparel can be virtually tried on (sorry fellas). As of September 15, 2022, the feature is available on iPhones in the Walmart app. It will be open to Android users in a few weeks, according to Walmart.

Other Companies Wanting to See More of You

Companies appear to be gradually lining up to see people half-naked, even if no else wants to. The Amazon Halo View, a fitness wearable meant to compete with the likes of Fitbit, features a “Body” tool that lets you upload “minimally clothed” pictures of yourself for the purpose of estimating your body fat as you make progress.

It has all the dignity of being weighed at the doctor’s office, but with the obvious privacy and security concerns added in. Sign me up.

This isn’t completely new. Years ago, the TSA scrapped its nude body scanner program after an extended privacy battle, so if a person now goes through one, the software only shows a generic outline. As far as clothing goes, at least Amazon is only using this type of feature for your feet at the moment (perhaps that’s creepier).

I’m looking forward to clones. I have no interest in uploading half-naked or even fully clothed pictures to any app, but I hate changing rooms as well. So when clones come out, I’ll just send mine to try on clothes for me.

“And get it in black,” I’ll add.

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Chason Gordon is a staff writer and editor for How-To Geek. His writing has previously appeared in Slate, Vice, Input, and The Globe and Mail, among others. He currently lives in San Antonio, but is on a month-to-month lease.
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