If you’re on Twitter/Facebook you probably would have seen the news about Woolies doing 3D body scans in major malls over the last couple of weeks. I didn’t really fully “get” what it was about but when I actually ran into them last week in Sandton City my curiosity was piqued and I wanted to find out just what it was all about…
I joined in the queue which moved nice & fast as promised & while I was waiting filled in a quick form with a few details (no spam they promised – they’re giving away 10 x R200o vouchers + a 1 hour style consultation via a random draw) and got the run down from their staff on what to expect. Basically shoes & belt off and your handbag doesn’t go into the scanner with you. Oh and the claim is quite a strong one – they say they can give you all your measurements with 100% accuracy!
Once you get into the actual scanner cubicle, you place your feet slightly apart (there are markers on the floor) and look straight ahead at a marked spot with your arms slightly off your sides. The scanner does its thing in less than 60 seconds, basically moving around you inside the cubicle.
But how does it actually work?
Basically the scanner uses radio wave technology and collects 20 000 data points on the body that then generate an accurate three-dimensional shape of the body. From this 3D body shape, the scanner will extract 55 technical measurements which will be stored in a database and then used in their garment design & making process.
Yeah, mind blown…
When you exit the scanner your results are generated almost instantly
These aren’t my results by the way, just a sample. I love you guys – just not that much! 🙂 A consultant sits with each person for 2-3 minutes to talk through your results in relation to the Woolies ranges/sizing. If you think your results are a bit bigger than they should be it’s also because they supply sizes according what the maximum size would be for clothes with no stretch. i.e. in above example, Adele could easily fit into a size 10 top & a size 8 bottom if it was a tank top and leggings for example.
I thought this was a really clever execution by Woolies to not just do some research for themselves to recalibrate their own internal average sizes using their real customers, but also to offer a really value adding service to the public simultaneously. The stand was staffed with well spoken, smart people who not only sold me on the idea of joining the queue but could answer all the questions I had while I waited too.
I actually took my own measurements about 4 weeks ago (don’t ask!) so I’m happy to report that the 3D scanner was pretty accurate , within a cm of my own measurements! The height measurement was a bit more off but I’m putting that down to standing feet apart and not standing up dead straight against a wall like I did when doing my own measurements…
PS the 3D body scan is a free service & is open to adults over the age of 18. Pregnant women, people with pacemakers or in wheelchairs are unable to participate. Durban and Jhb dates have now passed but you can still catch them in Canal Walk (Cape Town) from the 5th to the 9th March 2014.