Airport scanners are still scandalous. But Me-Ality—a giant, scary-looking, all-seeing box—takes precise measurements of people's bodies to tell them what size they are at more than 150 brands, including Calvin Klein, Gap, and Ralph Lauren (because each one has its own sizing). The company has so far installed models in more than 70 malls nationwide and counting. How does it do so without freaking people out? Like this:
An opaque kiosk in a mall's corridor feels more approachable than an enclosed room, says Me-Ality CEO Tanya Shaw. "The design generates curiosity. As soon as passersby see one person in it, there's a line outside to try it out."
A vertical wand containing 196 small antennae takes 200,000 measurements. "Being able to scan through clothing took a long time to develop," says Shaw. "If there was any sort of disrobing required, we'd lose people."
Shoppers can make specific requests ("Show me low-rise skinny jeans under $100 that work for me") and receive a printout with their best bets. Stores report Me-Ality users spend two to three times more.
A version of this article appeared in the December 2012/January 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine.