The hunt for a great-fitting pair of jeans can be frustrating, even when you're a size 6. All too often, they fit one part of the body but pinch another.
Help has now come to two local malls in the form of a high-tech, body-scanning system known as Me-Ality. Shoppers step behind the tinted windows of the Me-Ality station where a scanning wand measures their bodies and then helps them find brands that fit.
"We have well over a 90 percent success rate in picking sizes," said Bob Kutnick, the company's chief technology executive. "Sometimes, size comes down to preference, so ... someone will say, 'But I like my jeans painted on or I like 'em a little looser.' "
On a recent tour of Arden Fair, I discovered a Me-Ality station on the mall's second level, not too far from Macy's. A quick check with Roseville Galleria revealed that they added one about the same time on the second level near JCPenney.
More than 500,000 shoppers nationwide already have taken advantage of Me-Ality to eliminate frustration in the dressing room.
What does it cost? "Nothing," said Kutnick, who explained that manufacturers of more than 100 brands pay a fee for a set number of recommendations.
"Our goal is to be Switzerland in this thing," he said. "Every brand pays the same, so ... you cannot buy your position on the list."
The kiosks use technology similar to airport scanners, except that there's less radiation involved, a fraction of that used in cellphones, Kutnick told me. He's working toward a day when Me-Ality will help consumers make decisions about what to mix and match from their closets, sort of like the space-age wardrobe in "The Jetsons."
TLC for mature Broadway
Sacramento's Broadway inspires both dreams and concerns among nearby business owners and residents. Volunteers from the Urban Land Institute tried to accommodate both as they worked on plans to improve the vitality and walkability of this mature shopping corridor.
"We really want to focus on local, independent businesses and improve the mix of business services on the corridor," said Trish Kelly, a principal with Sacramento's Applied Development Economics who lives in Land Park and volunteers for ULI. "We really want to keep our eclectic feel, what makes us special as a district."
The hectic traffic, however, threatens the safety of shoppers and residents trying to stroll and savor the diverse shops and ethnic restaurants, residents said.
The section from 15th to 21st streets is busiest, said Alan Telford, a principal with Fehr & Peers in Roseville. Volunteers focused on measures they felt would calm traffic there, and then could be duplicated elsewhere.
Among the ideas:
Change Ninth, 10th, 15th, 16th and 19th into two-way streets to provide a release valve, of sorts, for commuters or for motorists seeking a specific business.
Reduce the number of travel lanes on Broadway to three one of them a center turn lane or median from four. Add bike lanes, highlighted with green paint, and parallel parking on both sides of the street.
Add parking on X Street: This will create a feeling of security by putting eyes on the street as people walk to businesses.
Make strategic changes in the streetscape: Increase the number of trees to create a canopy that welcomes outdoor dining, and add public art.
Brand three distinct areas: Riverside District (Interstate 5 to Riverside Boulevard), Tower District (Riverside to 21st Street) and Upper Broadway (21st-29th streets).
The recommendations largely were met with approval, though a few residents feared calming traffic would create backups. The recommendations now go to the Greater Broadway Partnership and the city of Sacramento for further study and to find funding.