Rise of the FitBots: Robotic mannequins will 'take the guesswork out of online shopping'
By DAMIEN GAYLE
Last updated at 9:12 AM on 14th June 2011
Austin Powers did battle with the FemBots, but now FitBots are set to take over online shopping.
The robotic mannequins are set to revolutionise buying clothes over the web.
The devices change shape to mimic a set of measurements entered by the shopper - allowing shoppers to virtually try on garments buying them.
Revolutionary: The FitBot robot mannequins transform to mimic a variety of body types
Previously available only for men's styles, the robot mannequins, set to launch at British shirt maker Hawkes and Curtis, promise to take the guesswork out of shopping online.
Heikki Haldre, the boss of Fits.me Virtual Fitting Room, the Estonian company behind the new technology, said: 'Our female FitBot mannequin can adjust to just about any female body type.
'[They give] women the confidence that they are making a successful online purchase without the need to return'
Perfect Fit(Bot): Thanks to the new technology shoppers can see how the garment will hang from their body type
The FitBots are composed of flexible panels which can shift between thousands of different shapes and sizes, from small to extra large.
Customers shopping at a participating site enter their measurements on an online form, before seeing photos of a real life mannequin shaped just like them 'trying on' their selections.
The machines have been available for men's styles since 2010 but, Fits.me says, women's curves, lumps and bumps meant the female FitBot took longer to perfect than the male model.
Fits.me promises they can contort to match 85 percent of women who shop online.
The technology has been developed in conjunction with Dr Maarja Kruusmaa, professor of biorobotics at Tallinn Technical University.
She said: 'Using proprietary FitBot technology, robots can conform to over 85 percent of the female individuals that shop online today.
'By entering a few measurements into the Fits.me model, customers can visualize how different sizes of garments compliment their unique shape.
'Fits.me has already collected information from well over 100,000 male end users, and the data confirms what many intrinsically observe; over half of the customers chose a size that is different than the traditional size chart would recommend.'
Antony Comyns, head of ecommerce at Hawes & Curtis, said the company was 'thrilled' to launch the 'valuable service' for their female customers.
He added: 'By letting customers use Fits.me's superior visualization offerings, our sales to new customers increased by 57 percent, and we have doubled the sales to international customers.
'We believe providing this service to online customers is a requirement for any quality fashion retailer. '
Sadly, shoppers will not get to see the robot transforming to fit the clothes in real-time.
Fits.me takes photographs of the robot mannequin trying on the their inventory and stores those photos in a database that shoppers access.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2003129/Rise-FitBots-Robotic-mannequins-guesswork-online-shopping.html#ixzz1PFp8Pg2B