Internet marketers have begun an experiment that could prove to be extremely cost-effective.
The development and use of virtual models has been intriguing some online companies as an alternative to traditional casting of human models. For companies with ever-changing stock, this could be an excellent way to cut costs and overhead.
Surely it is far less expensive to hire a small team of graphic designers than to shell out for elaborate photo shoots.
Virtual models are computer-generated figures that look exactly like humans except for one key difference: they are always flawless. These models can be designed down to the fingernails for the exact purposes of any company at any moment.
A Swedish design company, Looklet, is leading the charge when it comes to virtual models, and has already partnered with H&M to give the new technology a spin. The implications for the fields of e-commerce and modeling, as well as for the national body image crisis, are staggering.
There are so many complicated questions wrapped up in the benefits of using real or virtual models for the world, many of which range far beyond questions of revenue streams for retailers.
The sort of technology being implemented for virtual models began as tools for shoppers looking for a better idea as to what they might be purchasing. What remains to be seen is whether shoppers can trust the integrity of an item when so much of the image they are being sold is digital.
Will consumers be turned off by the falseness of the images, or ultimately relieved that the standards of perfection set by models is, for once and for all, being exposed as faulty?
Whatever the outcome, virtual models are truly a phenomenon of the future that one can’t help but have a strong opinion about.
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Edited by Braden Becker