The Bulletin

Body scanners help size skinny jeans

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A body imaging machine at some Bloomingdales locations uses electromagnetic radiation to size jeans

Retailers including Bloomingdales have begun using body scanners - those infernal machines that irradiate you at the airport - to size jeans for the perfect fit. Trying clothes on - that's passé.

Body scanners produced by Me-Ality, a Canadian company that has taken a high-tech twist on the mall fitting room, have been installed in several Bloomingdales locations in the U.S., Mashable's Lauren Indvik reported yesterday. Shoppers stand within the scanners for about 10-15 seconds to have their measurements taken; the measurements are saved to an online profile and are matched against denim products from catalogued brands. Of course, asking a retail associate might work too.

Me-Ality operates at least 37 kiosks at U.S. malls, which make shopping recommendations for nearby stores. The company says that its imaging technology is, "safe and meets national health and safety standards." It cites the Transportation Security Administration's Web site's comparison of the energy projected by body scanners with cell phone transmissions (TSA says body scanners use a lot less).

Not everyone agrees with that assessment. Body scanners are controversial, and have even been removed from some U.S. airports. Plans to relocate the scanners to government facilities have also been met with resistance. The European Union banned them from airports several years ago citing health concerns, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared them.

(image credit: CBS News)

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— By on April 11, 2013, 1:31 PM PST

David Worthington

Contributing Editor

David Worthington has written for BetaNews, eWeek, PC World, Technologizer and ZDNet. Formerly, he was a senior editor at SD Times. He holds a business degree from Temple University. He is based in New York. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure