This one is a little off-topic, as it’s not food related – although that probably comes as a relief to some of you.
A few weeks ago I noticed that the Levi’s Store in San Francisco was due to get a body scanning machine in. Having seen something similar on Tomorrow’s World many moons ago (not to mention Woody Allen’s Sleeper), I wanted to have a go and took a note of the dates. I also wanted to find some low-rise jeans that actually fitted, so I had a good excuse too.
So yesterday I popped into the store on the way back from school and the machine was there, scanning away. It is produced by Intellifit, who work with a number of companies, usign their scanner to take measurements which are then compared to a company database to find styles and sizes to match. They also aggregate the data anonymously to give retailers feedback on the actual sizes of the clothes-buying public (like that much publicised M&S survey a few years ago).
The scanner is a big cylindrical clear booth that you stand in the centre of while a vertical arm rotates around you. It uses short-range radio waves to detect the water in your skin, so it can take accurate measurements through your clothes. A Levi’s sales person asks you what sort of jeans you’re looking for before the scan (on the waist or below, fitted or relaxed) so that they can pull a relevant list of styles for your size. You have to remove big pieces of metal (watches, belt buckles) but otherwise it’s pretty hassle-free and very quick (but there was no queue when I was there).
And did it work? Well, of the 4 styles it recommended, one was the exact pair I was wearing at the time, the other 3 fitted, and I bought one of those (the 515s, for those who care)! It’s only there this week, but this is a trial for Levi’s, so maybe you’ll see them in a store near you at some point.