In South Korea and Japan, human-like figures are making their debuts inside store windows.
South Korea’s IMD Communications has developed a new robotic mannequin that physically models the clothes they are dressed in. The benefits of these mannequins are twofold. The first being that they attract more shoppers because of their novelty and human-like stance, and the second being that they are easier for employees to dress and undress. The new mannequins come in three models, each with specific poses integrated into their systems. ‘Endrani’ is described as a 30-something woman who exudes elegance, ‘Dipani’ highlights women’s confidence and creativity, and Marian – the most dynamic of the three – symbolizes strength and the outdoors. Researchers at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology are currently building a prototype of a similar mannequin. but one that works on Microsoft Kinect software to mimic movements of people standing in front of it.
However, the moving mannequins are no strangers in Japan. The Plaette, designed by Flower Robotics, debuted in 2001 with a whopping price tag of US$50,000. A less-expensive version was created by Sugiura Machine Design Office, which sells a line of robotic mannequins whose limbs are printed on a 3D printer instead of molded by plastic.