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Shoppers are used to seeing the traditional, lithesome outline of a fixed-sized mannequin in high-street windows, showcasing the latest fashions.
But a Hong Kong research team has created a figure capable of shifting length, curve and dimension, depending on a customer’s shape. The i.Dummy only takes up to eight seconds to go from large to small, and back again, whilst width, thickness and length can be altered simultaneously.
In the course of the study, however, researchers encountered a crucial problem. How could they establish a way of measuring the growth from one size to another accurately, and in proportion?
Dr Allan Chan, Associate Professor of Textiles and Clothing at the Hong Polytechnic University, explains: “For example, when one person gets bigger, all the curve measurement and so on will not be in the same proportion. So we have to calculate and study different people. When we study the American size chart, we study the European, we study the Japanese and also, as well as the Hong Kong female body profile. And from there, we can get the right proportion. When one size grows to another size, so in terms of the curve as well as the length.”
This ability to mimic different body profiles means the i.Dummy is also an excellent educational and training tool for students of fashion design and pattern development.
But perhaps most important of all, the i.Dummy can be easily controlled via a user-friendly computer interface, so potential clients can input their measurements online. And this means you don’t have to brave the stuffy, sweaty dressing rooms of congested shopping centres, in order to find yourself the perfect fit.