The nagging anxiety over whether one's bottom is accentuated or diminished when trying on a garment could soon be answered with military precision.
QinetiQ, formerly the government-run Defence Evaluation Research Agency, says it has developed a system of 3D cameras for shop changing rooms that record precise measurements from more than 1,000 points on an object.
The company developed the system while working on weapon rangefinders. Installed in a changing booth, the proposed invention would involve an array of about six tennis-ball size cameras that would feed the data to a computer.
Linked to software that matches particular styles to individual body shapes, the system could then provide verbal advice on whether a piece of clothing fitted properly, alleviating any need to ask the sales assistant.
QinetiQ is now talking to leading clothing retailers from the UK and overseas about its idea and believes it could be up and running in 12-18 months. The company says it would be up to the retailers to provide the software.
The company has compared its invention to style gurus Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine from BBC1's What Not To Wear programme.
QinetiQ's spokesman, Douglas Millard, said: "Like Trinny and Susannah, the system could advise on dress sense and what clothes suit the kind of body you have and what clothes don't flatter you.
"You can choose to ignore the information if you want, but it could be of help to those of us with hopeless fashion sense."
Mr Millard said the invention was part of moves by the company to start using some of its military creations for "commercial application".Reuse content