Walmart shoppers will now be able to virtually try on clothes from the comfort of their own homes using AR technology in the retailer’s app.
The new Be Your Own Model experience requires customers to upload a full-body photo of themselves to create a realistic simulation of what an item of clothing would look like on their own bodies. The feature is capable of recognizing where the fabric should drape and shadows should fall, made possible by the company’s acquisition of the Zeekit virtual try-on platform last year.
“A single shirt can come in six different colors, seven different sizes and two sleeve lengths. Our technology captures all the variations and shows how they look uniquely on each individual,” says Walmart in a press release announcing the new feature.
The tech itself is one thing, but the scale of its capabilities is another entirely. Over 270,000 items of apparel across Walmart’s portfolio of brands can be tried on using Be Your Own Model. Items from select national brands such as Levi’s, Champion, and Hanes are also available to try on.
The Zeekit virtual fitting room technology was first used by Walmart in its less personal Choose My Model experience in March. Instead of virtually dressing the customer, however, it allowed them to select from one of 50 diverse female models with a variety of skin tones, heights between 5 feet 2 inches and 6 feet tall, and sizes from XS to XXXL. Walmart will continue to offer this feature for anyone not comfortable uploading their own photo.
A video walkthrough of the feature shows that users just need to take a full body shot of themselves wearing shoes and tight-fitting shorts and top in a well-lit environment and then input their height when prompted. They can then reuse the image as a model whenever shopping for clothing at Walmart through the app or via desktop. It’s unclear how the tech will deal with strapless tops and dresses and it doesn’t seem to support men’s fashion, at all.
Unfortunately, Walmart’s announcement of the Be Your Own Model feature makes no mention of how the world’s largest retailer plans to safeguard the semi-nude images it’s asking customers to upload en masse. We’ve reached out to the company for comment and will update this story should we hear back.
The Be Your Own Model experience is available through the Walmart app, and is currently being rolled out to iOS users first, with Android support expected in the coming weeks.