Fashion Technology is the New Black
There are many impressive fashion tech applications I have been exposed to and here are some of my favorites that leverage more innovative technologies.
Developed by Bodymetrics, a London-based pioneer in 3D body-mapping, the Bodymetrics Pod was introduced to American shoppers for the first time during Women’s Denim Days at Bloomingdale’s in Century City, Los Angeles. This is the first time Kinect for Windows has been used commercially in the United States for body mapping in a retail clothing environment.
Bodymetrics has also made a solution for the living room that can be seen in the video below.
Fits.me Virtual Dressing Room has applied advanced robotic science to solve the problem of ‘the wrong size’ for online clothes shoppers. At the heart of Fits.me’s virtual fitting room is ‘FitBot’, a sophisticated robotic mannequin with artificial muscles able to mimic the shape and size of any body type – almost 100,000 different shapes.
To populate the database of any given brand or retailer, a FitBot is dressed in each item of clothing, in each size. Each permutation is then photographed at high speed, in high resolution, while the FitBot runs rapidly through its thousands of different body shapes. Then, on the brand or retailer’s site, after asking a shopper to enter just a few basic measurements, Fits.me is able to display the garment pictures that correspond exactly to his/her body shape. The customer sees exactly how the garment in the range, in any of the available sizes, will hang on them (or cling to them), and all before making their online purchase.
The startup Mintperfect leverages elements of HTML5 to allow shoppers to view and examine the recreations of the clothes they want to purchase in 3D with no plugin needed. I have not heard much about this startup beyond the event I met the founder at, but am a fan that it is the first use of WebGL for the fashion industry I have seen.
A product of the Microsoft Accelerator for Kinect program, Styku, has developed virtual fitting room software and body scanner technology powered by Kinect for Windows. Styku has pioneered a precise apparel fit and size prediction and visualization platform that is poised to revolutionize the way people shop for clothing. The Smart Fitting Room is designed to overcome the hurdle in online apparel sales for the online retailer; the inability to “try before I buy”.
Decoded Fashion at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Coco Rocha and designer Zac Posen.
I was impressed by the amount of fashion applications that used technologies close to my heart.
First up was AHAlife and their augmented reality campaign that used the Layar platform.
Next was SayDuck, a startup company based in London and Helsinki. They provide a mobile augmented reality platform for showcasing products like furniture, home decorations, and fashion accessories.
Finally, there was a panel about fashion and 3D printing with a representative from Shapeways. For those that don't know, Shapeways is a 3D printing marketplace and community. It has quite an impressive gallery of designs from fashion designers.
New York based fashion designer Kimberly Ovitz took the idea of natural defense, an exoskeleton, and brought it to Shapeways. She created a fluid, organic jewelry collection that molds to the body like armor. During New York Fashion Week, Kimberly presented her first jewelry line that you can buy straight from the Fall 2013 runway, custom made for the buyer.
Bravo fashion industry players. I applaud your fashion tech forward thinking and will be keeping my eye on you. For those that want to stay current with fashion tech news, I recommend the SF FashTech Blog.