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06/09/2010

[TC]2 Pushes Ahead on Virtual Fashion

By Susan S. Nichols, Publisher, Apparel

[TC]2
, the Textile/Clothing Technology Corp., announced new developments to its Virtual Fashion research and applications at its April 13 Board of Directors meeting in Cary, NC.

[TC]2 currently markets its NX-16 3D body scanners, which allow for the creation of 3D scans for real-time viewing. New for 2010, the system is using fabricated human model meshes for the purpose of "soft body" analysis. Also new is the ability to create animation sequences on a personalized avatar based on garment output and a web-based virtual fashion application for smart phones.

Finally, [TC]2  is working to link in-home acquired silhouette photographs to avatar engine inputs for avatar creation from home hardware, such as web cameras or gaming console cameras.

David Bruner, vice president of technology development at [TC]2, notes that the obstacles to virtual fashion €" such as the quality of digital replicas of people, the speed of avatar/garment generation, the cost and quality of 3D garment visualization and accessibility €" are quickly fading, paving the way for consumers to embrace virtual try-on before they buy.

[TC]2 also continues to enhance its scanners. Scanning time is down 30 percent; avatars are being created 50 percent faster, scanner booths can be created faster and new interior lighting in the scanners is conducive to manual land marking and measuring for sizing survey use.
 
[TC]2 will be demonstrating its Virtual Fashion developments in the "Cool Zone" at the upcoming SPESA Show in Atlanta, GA on May 18-20.

IN OTHER NEWS:
- The Department of Commerce has awarded [TC]2 a 2010 research grant to support the apparel and textile industries of $965,000. The amount is a significant dip from prior years, but apparel and textile industry supporters are already lobbying for an increased 2011 grant.
- The organization's work to build a Haitian Apparel Center in conjunction with USAID and CHF International is continuing post-earthquake. Operator training is continuing, as is work on previously begun mechanics training, middle management training, an executive seminar series and the lean manufacturing demonstration. For now, work on the full package center is being suspended, but additional support is being sought.
- [TC]2's scanners continue to be sought out for sizing surveys. Size Mexico is scheduled to begin this year, there is an ongoing children's survey in the U.K. and a private survey is being conducted in China.
- Chuck Nesbit Jr., executive vice president and COO, McMurray Fabrics Inc., has been named chairman of [TC]2. Former chairman Peter Butenhoff moves to vice chairman and Mike Fralix remains president and CEO.

Membership in [TC]2 is open to all interested parties in the textile, apparel and retail supply chain. For more information visit www.tc2.com.

Susan S. Nichols is publisher of Apparel and a member of the [TC]2 Executive Committee and Board of Directors. She may be reached at [email protected]