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.
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.