Internet shopping looks set to enter a new era with a new software that enables consumers to use a mouse to “feel” the textures of different fabrics through their computer screens.
The program, which uses a series of interactive virtual-reality animations to mimic the movement of various fabrics, was devised by Nicola Davison at Nottingham Trent University, central England.
Davison, who gained a master’s degree in fashion and textiles, is convinced it will help slash the number of online shopping returns, which currently stands at almost 40 percent.
Called “Click 2 Touch”, the software is expected to be available within a year after Davison, who is now in talks with retailers, won a research development grant from the British government’s trade and industry department.
“The Internet only appeals to two of our five senses – sight and sound – but clothing requires the sense of touch,” Davison told Britain’s domestic Press Association news agency.