London: Online shopping may be really easy but the very thought of not being able to touch and feel the clothes may dampen your shopping spirit. But soon, shopoholics can overcome this problem.
Shoppers will be able to digitise the look and feel of clothes and share the details online, along with their emotional reactions. Such a network could even help design new clothes by letting consumers contribute their ideas to fashion designers.
"We’re exploring different ways to represent different fabrics," New Scientist quoted Sharon Baurley, a reader in design at Brunel University, London, who leads the project, dubbed Digital Sensoria, as saying.
Baurley and colleagues are developing apps for iPhones, iPads and other tablet computers that take advantage of touchscreens to portray fabrics in a slightly more realistic way. These interactive fabrics, called Shoogles, are made using a process similar to stop-frame animation, that creates the illusion of movement, so that users can stretch, rub or pinch materials as they would in real life - although you don`t get the same feeling on your fingertips. People can also upload their own designs.
Baurley`s team is also investigating a souped-up version of Facebook`s "Like" button that measures a person`s physiological response to touching real fabric and turns it into a like or dislike.
Designers upload sketches of their ideas, and customers respond by uploading images and fabrics that reflect their likes and dislikes, which can then be incorporated into the design.