3D body scanning: bringing perfect sizing to online clothes shopping

Online clothes shopping has always been a risky business due to variations in sizing, but now a new service has been launched that uses 3D body scanning to perfectly match consumers with the right clothing sizes.

Named Bodi.me, the service uses an individual’s data to find the perfect size in a wide range of leading clothing brands.

Available to both men and women, Bodi.me is built on complex technology to achieve an accurate result with different brands, as co-founder and CEO Lara Mazzoni explains: “We have developed a number of algorithms that we apply to different brands… some fashion brands have a dedicated team who work on specific algorithms for each brand.”


Consumers provide their body data by entering manually-taken measurements, using their webcam or by going to a 3D scanner booth to get completely accurate data about their size.

Using 3D scanners to create fashion is not entirely new – high-end fashion store Selfridges has been offering a 3D scanning service since 2011 – but their accuracy has increased significantly in recent years.

The first 3D scanner will be opened in London at the end of this month, and will roll out elsewhere in the future. Getting a 3D bodyscan will eventually cost £5 (€6/$8), but for now it will be free to build interest in the product.


Bodi.me is completely free to consumers, and plans to make money by charging fashion companies for the service.

At present the system seems to be working: the company already provides sizing information for leading brands such as Topshop, Mango, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste and Forever 21.

It will also provide an outlet for traditional tailors to sell online. “We work with tailors around the globe to help them take measurements from customers all over the world,” explains Mazzoni.

This could mean that tailored clothing becomes far more affordable, as consumers are able to order from traditionally cheap tailors based in areas such as Southeast Asia.

Bodi.me on Forever 21

Although first and foremost Bodi.me is designed for fashion purposes, Mazzoni has other, wider plans for the technology. Because it allows consumers to regularly update their details, it offers long-term data about their changing size, which could be used for fitness purposes.

Mazzoni also believes it could have uses for wearable technology. “There is high demand in health and fitness for wearable technology,” she explains. “Bodi.me could let you switch between fitness technology without using your body data.”

She is also looking at applying the technology to 3D printing – perhaps enabling users to order 3D printed clothing or jewellery that is designed to perfectly fit them.

Perhaps unsurprising is the obligatory private community that is also on the horizon. However unlike many brand-specific communities, this one has a very clear benefit for consumers. It would enable friends and family to have access to your measurements, putting an end to the nightmare of ill-fitting presents.

Bodi.me could be supplying the missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to online shopping – trying on clothing has always been the main deterrant to shopping online, and with that gone it could be the final toll for fashion on the high street. But Bodi.me will have to work to stay ahead of the game. Ebay has already forked out for a similar service, and more companies are likely to follow soon.

Images courtesy of Bodi.me.

Stretchable electronics let you look like a futuristic superhero in this wearable tech jacket

Technology and fashion have moved a little closer together with the launch of a responsive LED jacket with an integrated soft, stretchable electronic system.

Dubbed Sporty Supaheroe, the jacket has been developed by Austrian wearable tech startup Utope.

Described by the company as a “high-tech jacket for the urban nomad”, Sporty Supaheroe features a soft panel of electronics that contain LEDs, sensors and microcontrollers, as well as a rechargeable battery and the typical on/off switch.

The jacket’s electronics are based on something pretty revolutionary for wearable tech: a stretchable circuit board.

Ordinarily tech is based on printed circuit boards (PCBs) that are rigid and lumpy, resulting in large hard lumps in the wearable that have to be hidden with pockets or clever tailoring.

But Utope – in collaboration with microelectronic heavyweight Fraunhofer IZM – has designed it so that only individual electronic components in the system are hard: the connections between them are soft and flexible. And even the components have been reduced in size, with an ultrathin switch, tiny but bright LED lights and a controller board the size of a €2 coin (or a US quarter).

Developed with white LEDs along the front of the jacket and red LEDs along the back, Sporty Supaheroe is designed to increase your visibility at night, and is particularly useful for cyclists, runners and pedestrians.

The jacket even comes with sensors to enable it to react to body movement and direction changes. But unlike other visibility wear employed by late-night travellers, Sporty Supaheroe wouldn’t look out of place in a bar or nightclub.

Not only is the jacket designed to boost your safety by making you more visible to traffic at night, but Utope has spent a lot of time ensuring that it is safe in itself. Short circuits and overheating are prevented through the use of a smart fuse and reverse polarity protection, and all electronics are embedded into a flame-resistant non-woven material.

This also means that the electronics are protected from moisture – normally a potential problem for wearable tech- and the system has built-in resistance to electrostatic charges from the textiles.

Utope is looking to take the jacket into mass production, and has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise the $69,000 needed for an initial manufacturing run.

But with an eyewatering retail price of €1,500 ($2,000), this is hardly wearable tech for the masses. The company says that the high price is largely down to the stretchable circuit board, which is why Utope started with premium sportswear to get its product out there.

Given time, we could be seeing this sort of tech in high street fashion, as Utope believes that with demand rising production costs could fall considerably.

Images courtesy of Utope. Via the Sporty Supaheroe Indiegogo page.