Walmart is updating its virtual fitting room service, allowing people to upload photos of themselves and see how the clothes fit their bodies.
The new tool is called be your own model (opens in new tab), a continuation to Choose My Model. The old version had you choose a body similar to yours from a selection of 50 models to see how the clothes would fit you. It was a cool concept, but with notable limitations. You had to observe the entire process and hope to find a compatible body. With Be Your Own Model, the virtual fitting of clothes is intended to be easier and more accurate.
Walmart claims it uses “algorithms and intricate machine learning models” to help people better visualize how clothes look on them. You’ll have access to over 270,000 items across the company’s catalog, including some brands, with expansion plans. As per the advertisement, all items will be women’s clothing, but there are reports (opens in new tab) that Be Your Own Model will expand to include men’s and children’s clothing.
The update is coming to the Walmart app on iOS now, and soon users will be able to upload their photos to a desktop computer and experience Choose My Model there. There will be a release for “Android devices in the coming weeks”.
How it works
To get started with Be Your Own Model, you find an item of clothing in the Walmart app that supports the new tool, then tap the Try it on button. From there, you hold your iPhone and take a picture of yourself in a brightly lit room while wearing tight clothing. The app needs to be able to see your entire body. Then it will ask your height and after a short moment the app will show you the clothing on your body.
Clothing fit isn’t a simple overlay either, as Be Your Own Model simulates how a dress falls on a body, as well as showing off shadows and fabric drapes. This is due to “machine learning models,” according to Walmart. The technology will also take into account the color, sizes, and even the length of shirt sleeves.
There is a big omission in the ad and this is the level of security found in Be Your Own Model. As stated earlier, you will have to take pictures of yourself in tight clothing, but nowhere does it say how Walmart will protect those images. Not even a brief mention of what kind of encryption technology is being used, if at all.
We contacted Walmart and asked about the security of Be Your Own Model, as well as any limitations the tool might have, such as whether it only accepts certain file sizes. This story will be updated if we receive a response.
Thinking about Be Your Own Model made us realize how often virtual and augmented reality are appearing in other aspects of life besides video games. For example, Virtual makeup began to appear in 202. Therefore, people can upload pictures of themselves and see how a certain cosmetic would look on their faces before buying. Amazon did something similar with Amazon Showrooma service that allows you to place virtual furniture in a virtual room to get an idea of what your home will look like.
It is unknown if other big-name stores will incorporate virtual fitting rooms. Amazon’s Smart Mirror Patent for Virtual Clothing didn’t really go anywhere, but there are apps out there like Your Adjustment (opens in new tab), then the potential exists. But no one capitalized on virtual fitting rooms like Walmart.
If you want to know how augmented reality can impact even more lives, be sure to check it out. ‘s story about Microsoft bringing the technology to vehicles.