Today’s Augmented Reality Thing No 5: Clothing – Forget H&M?

Smart clothing and systems that let you try out new clothes and accessories are not that new and a quick scan online will find systems going back a number of years. However, the advent of cheap hardware such as the MS Kinect system coupled with improved knowledge of aspects such as computer vision means that augmented reality clothing is now more viable. There are many forms of “AR” clothing, take for example the first system above and the one below which lets people try accessories such as handbags. The last system I find a little more interesting, it lets you augmented your existing clothing. This in itself is not that tricky, you just need to track the clothing aspect that you want to change. However, what I find interesting is the potential of others to augment your clothes. For example, I am sure we all have some clothes our friends don’t really like. Well if it offends them that much then with Google’s new glasses why not let them change it? Now they don’t look quite so disgusted by your dress sense.

Also I often wonder how things will work out in future, for example could we just cut to the chase and buy cheap €10 t-shirts from H&M and instead let others augment us? Or alternatively H&M let us buy the cheap T-shirt then rent us our augmented clothing as and when we need it (everyone can then see your new style through  AR glasses). Then each day you could have different clothes for a fraction of the cost and that harm the environment far less. Not forgetting another benefit – fewer clothing sweatshops in the far East.

The possibilities are quite amusing, other people could in theory dress us according to their preferences. Alternatively you broadcast a little signal that lets others see you as you want to be seen – of course they don’t see the cheap H&M t-shirt.  Obviously there is much more to clothing that its look, take its feel and form for example. However, these aspects are also being worked on in the area of smart textiles.

One small problem though a set of clothes could last for months and the lazy among us may prefer not to wash it…


About Rod McCall

Rod McCall is a researcher in the field of human-computer interaction in areas such as augmented reality, mobile gaming in-car systems and virtual environments. He has a passing interest in economics after not being entirely convinced by the rubbish presented as fact during lectures on that particular subject while at uni.
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One Response to Today’s Augmented Reality Thing No 5: Clothing – Forget H&M?

  1. Shawn Winters says:

    Hey Rod,

    Do you know of a software that entrepreneurscan buy to sell items from home or small boutique? Lets say I would like to allow people to try on a jacket or a suit I want to sell them virtually. I don’t have a ton of money to buy a high end AR software package.


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