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US agency demos augmented reality shopping app

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US-based interactive marketing agency Zugara has demonstrated a web application that allows online shoppers to try on clothing at home using just a computer and a web cam.

The Webcam Social Shopper application, which the company describes as still being in the early stages of development, uses motion capture and augmented reality technology to superimpose fitted versions of clothing items over a live video feed of the consumer.

Before trying items on, the consumer must print out and hold up a target image, which the software uses to calibrate itself — but this simple image could also be supplied as a magazine page, for instance.

The shopper will then see clothing items resized and superimposed over their bodies as they move so they can see how, for instance, a new T-shirt might look paired with some shorts they already own.

Buttons to move to new items and styles, as well as an 'add to cart' function, are superimposed around the edge of the video feed and can be activated by the user simply waving at them. This frees the consumer from the mouse and keyboard, and means that the whole experience can be conducted at the ideal distance of several feet from the computer.

The software is browser based, so once past the requirement for a webcam and a printer, the demands on the user are low with Zugara touting "No extra downloads, no new plug-in, no consumer headache."

Readers can see the technology in action in Zugara's short video on YouTube.
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