Today the saturation of the product in demand creates in a customer the desire to find goods that could reflect their unique needs, forming the basis of the process of image formation and self-realization. The response of the market is production customization.
Exceptionally large image component is realized in customisation of clothes and shoes, but the element of fun with their accessories like socks also plays an important role. The stumbling block of mass customised clothes and shoes production is the problem of matching dimensions of customer’s anthropometric data. Dimensional customization of clothes and shoes at this stage could be realized only in a very narrow segment of premium class – using technology Bespoke and made-to-measure (MTM).
Mass customization of clothes and shoes is directly connected with the problem of collecting customer’s anthropometric data. The creation of such anthropometric database of customers, perhaps through the introduction of technologies like virtual dressing rooms in retail stores.
In great detail the topic of virtual changing room services Barry Moles points out in the article “Virtual changing rooms will revolutionize fashion retail”, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/virtual-changing-rooms-revolutionize-fashion-retail-moles-mba.
In our view, with certain assumptions, we can distinguish two approaches for the solution of taking into account individual needs of a customer of clothes and shoes in the virtual selection.
The first approach is based on creating a virtual stylistic image of a customer on the monitor or in the changing rooms with electronic mirrors. All fitting is carried out by the selection of clothing and footwear in available range by simply overlapping it with customer or virtual mannequin body projection, also in 3D format. For example, http://www.myvirtualmodel.com/, http://scala.com/. Particularly indicative of this way of fitting supports technology MemoryMirror (memorymirror.com), which has already been intensively used in Department stores Nordstrom (shop.nordstrom.com/).
Such a simple overlay of clothes and shoes on the projection of the body to decide only questions of style, but not customer’s size. The size of clothes and shoes in this case is for the customer to try and find it on the base of indirect indicators.
The second approach of the virtual try-on is aimed for the search of suitable sizes of the purchased shoes or clothing. It is assumed that the virtual fitting will be in 3D format. Anthropometric 3D-body model of the customer will be combined with 3D model of the internal stock of clothes and shoes. This method can solve the problem not only of choosing an appropriate style, but most importantly of choosing the physical size of clothes and shoes that suit the customer.
The company Fits.me, recently bought by Japanese Internet giant Rakuten, is very advanced in the implementation of virtual try-on clothing from a selection of online stores.The last approach is a robotic mannequin that can change their sizes according to the shape of the potential buyer. Some developed companies are already trying to use the well-known brand retailers, such as, Hugo Boss, Adidas, Nicole Farhi, Thomas Pink and QVC home shopping.
Significant progress has recently been made in developing methods for on-line shoes fitting. The first option of shoes fitting , unlike the stylistic fitting, for example, is implemented by the German GOETZ company, http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/goertz-augmented-reality-virtual-shoe-fitting-store-instaLlation/
The second option is virtual shoes fitting that is based on comparison of the three-dimensional model of legs and a three-dimensional model of the internal volume of the Shoe has not yet received enough its solution. Some companies have been able to achieve only a part of success in the development of this rather complex problem.
The main effort of many startups was aimed at stationary 3D measuring of the customers feet, then, knowing the parameters of a certain Shoe brand, offering customers a suitable size. In this respect development of the company Volumental is interesting (www.volumental.com/vandra/) project and fitfully.me (www.fitfully.me).
Company ELSE Corp uses the technology of virtual fitting for short-run production of premium shoes for MTM technologies where the customer can design suitable footwear from standard cells (www.else-corp.com).
Adidas and Lacoste are actively using in their showrooms scanners for feet, followed by computer selection of branded sports shoes, http://www.fastcompany.com/1715933/intels-virtual-footwear-wall-adidas-turns-boutiques-shoe-topias-video, http://pioneeringooh.com/lacoste-takes-stores-digital-ar-app-new-trainer-range/.
If in the solution to the problem of measuring customer’s feet using a 3D scanners and creating on this base a correct 3D models there has been some progress made, the problem of measurement of the Shoe internal volume is faced with difficulties.
An attempt to directly or indirectly measure the internal volume of the Shoe itself was first made by startups in the United States. Shoefit was the firs one, which was later acquired by Amazon, http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/10/amazon-quietly-acquired-shoefitr-to-improve-how-it-sells-footwear-online/. She invented and patented an electro-mechanical meter, internal dimensions of shoes. Elegant device, but how do they measure all critical points inside the Shoe, except the length?
The German company GmbH Mifitto went much further than its competitors and offered to measure the shoes with the help of the tomographic scanner (mifitto.com/). On the resulting scans all structural elements can be seen,including coating, from which the shoes consists of, and the entire internal volume. The problem is to select from all this diversity, only parameters of the internal volume. At this stage,they were able to identify an area of interest in 2D, which is the length and width parameters of the Shoe. Mifitto is also using 2D for measuring the feet of customers shop using mobile apps.
Output 3D models in virtual shoes fitting are offered by the company Imigize Development Group Co. Ltd (imigize.com/technology/). This company also uses the technology of reflecting. However, they managed to develop and patent a method for measuring the internal volume of the Shoe in a 3D format. Comparison of three-dimensional models of the customer foot and the internal volume of the Shoe will probably give greater precision in the selection of suitable options.
In conclusion we can predict that soon there will be a virtual fitting room that includes both on-line fitting of clothes and shoes in style and the choice of ideal size. This will be a beginning for creation of database of anthropometric body and legs models, which will be an invaluable treasure trove for producers in the framework of step-by-step solution to mass customization. Reviews by on-line customers on the results of contactless fitting will act as the regulator in the formation of new marketing communications between consumer and producer.
Program customization may go the way of the primarily national, regional, age and gender specifications, gradually sinking to the level of group and personal preferences. This will contribute to the development of new industrial production technologies, such as industrial 3D printing clothes and shoes or possibly fully robotic technology, like made-to-measure (MTM) or Bespoke based on traditional materials.
Request for reposts indicate a link to Imigize.com and the author of the article – Valery Chernik. This is a project for 3D contactless shoe fitting. The name is pronounced as [ɪmɪdʒaɪz], Cyrillic – [Имиджайз].