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The much-talked about body scanners that will revolutionise online clothes shopping (no, really) have arrived. Or at least, plans for their installation in Lands End outlets in 50 American shopping malls have arrived.

These machines, to be made by Image Twin, have been publicised so much over the last few years that anyone with a television will have heard of them. However, for those of you just back from a trip to Uranus, here is the deal.

A person stands in the scanning booth, which then records the exact dimensions of your body. A truly terrifying prospect. Then, the data is stored on a secure site (Well, would you want anyone fiddling with your virtual cup size?) where it can be accessed to buy clothes from affiliated companies.

According to a recent Forreste survey, 38 per cent of respondents cited sizing as the biggest deterrent to shopping for clothes online.

Evie Black Dykema, a Forrester analyst, reckons commercialised body scanning should be a big plus for online shopping. "The inability to not be able to try on clothes or feel them is the biggest obstacle for consumers in buying apparel." ®

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