Body Scanning Plans Get a Reduction

Textile Clothing Technology Corp. and Conover Property Trust have pulled back on plans to install the ImageTwin Personal Body Scanning service in malls.

The service scans a person's body, giving the consumer sizing information. The consumer would get a copy of his measurements. Those getting their body scanned provide demographic information that retailers participating in the service could use for marketing purposes. The customer, however, would remain anonymous.

Things were looking good in October when Conover partnered with Lands' End to join the cataloger's My Virtual Model truck tour to promote its online 3-D model. The ImageTwin service was used as an enhancement tool for the virtual model component, which allows online shoppers to see how clothing would look on a 3-D model.

The tour went through 14 cities where consumers were able to scan their body shapes and store measurements online at the cataloger's Web site. A reported 3,000 enhanced 3-D models were created during the tour.

“It was for promotional use,” Beverly Holmes, Lands' End spokeswoman, said of the ImageTwin tour. “We didn't have any intentions of setting up scanners.”

After the tour, the plan was for Conover to deploy kiosks in malls, retail outlets and health clubs. The company, however, was unable to secure the capital to proceed, according to Textile Clothing. Conover could not be reached for comment.

Textile Clothing, which created the technology, is now marketing the body scanning service to boutiques nationwide and has signed agreements with an Atlanta retailer and two New York boutiques for use of the scanner in their shops. So far, Textile Clothing has four companies that are using the scanner, including a Levi Strauss shop in San Francisco.

“At this time, until we find someone with deep pockets, we're just pursuing individual sales,” said Karen Davis, marketing communications specialist for Textile Clothing Technology, Cary, NC. “The mall concept was a complicated issue because there's a lot of work that goes into having it done in a location where there is more than one retail company accessing the data.”

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