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Rub, Stretch or pinch the fabric online

Now feel clothes online
July 16, 2011 (UK)

A new technology is being developed that will enable consumers purchasing clothes online to feel them.

A team of scientists at the Brunel University, London is working to develop apparatus for tablet computers and smartphones to represent fabrics in a way that would give the feel of the real touch, while running their hand on the touchscreens.

Shoogles, the interactive fabrics, are being created using a method similar to stop-frame animation used for creating the illusion of movement.

The technology will enable users to rub, stretch or pinch clothes as if they are doing it in real, but they would not be able to actually feel them with their fingertips.

The team is also trying to develop a method to measure people’s physiological responses when they touch, as it would help in finding out what the shoppers like or dislike.

These techniques are now in their final stages of development and long before we know it, they may be put to effective use. In fact, major retailers are showing significant interest in working with new processes and tools that would enable them to get closer with their consumers, and even get insight into their perceptions about the products.

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