I retired in April 2013 after 25 years as a librarian at the British Library specialising in inventions. This included running numerous workshops; writing books on inventions and a work blog; carrying out searches for clients; and one-to-one meetings with inventors. [more]


1 May 2013

Technology and fitting clothes

Technology is advancing into more and more spheres of life, and making sure your clothes fit is no exception.

The BBC website has published a story, Fear of fitting rooms, about an invention by Dr Nadia Shouraboura. She had found the experience of trying clothes on slow and exasperating, and of course wanted to do something about it. She had a useful background -- she was the former head of supply chain and fulfillment technologies for Amazon.

So she created Hointer, a concept store in Seattle, initially aiming it at men. The clothes are on simple rails. You tap the ones you want with your smartphone, if it has Near Field Communication, or else scan a QR code. A fitting room is allocated to you and when you go there the clothes are waiting for you.

So goes the BBC story (with more details of course). Dr Shouraboura's name was easy to check for and I found a US patent by her, with the main drawing shown below.

Six inventors are credited with Placement of inventory in a materials handling facility. Amazon Technologies, Inc. is the applicant. It's certainly a very technical patent in its wording. I haven't looked through it in detail, but it occurred to me that it would be very useful if someone looking for a particular size and perhaps colour, particularly for say trousers where two sizes are needed (waist and leg), could present their needs and in some way the right clothes would be flagged up when scanned by the phone.

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