My friend RubyMae turned me on to the site "My Virtual Model." The "virtual" part apparently is because you can create a custom avatar and have her try on different outfits from different clothing stores. This is the model "Ororo" I created. I know, looks just like me.
It only takes a few seconds to get an account, customize your "virtual model" and start tossing clothes on her. There are a fairly limited number of choices right now, with only a few major clothing merchants like Land’s End, H&M, and Adidas. There’s no social aspect to the shopping. And only women’s avatars are supported for the moment. Still, there’s some potential there.
Here’s what the avatar customization screen looks like:
Not as powerful as Second Life’s avatar customization sliders, but also easier to use. No asian model, as far I could tell.
The shopping interface is dead simple. Just hit the drop down menu for the different clothing stores and start clicking on clothing items, which immediately display on your avatar. No color or size customization avaiable. And I found that getting the pricing information annoyingly three clicks too many.
I could imagine using this if I knew basically a certain clothing
manufacturer’s sizing system and I wanted to buy something quick. I’d
love to have the option on a shopping website, after seeing something I
liked, to "click here to wear." A popup would display my 3D avatar
wearing the item I’m thinking of buying.
What would be nice would be a chat window where you could see other people shopping in the same store at the same time. Perhaps meeting up with your friends if you needed their opinion on a piece of clothing, or just chatting with a stranger about a brand you aren’t familiar with. Or even asking a sizing information from a staff person.
Being about to display your "badge" of your avatar on your blog or website is pretty cool. But something more interactive and social is the next step.