Bodymetrics is announcing a new service today that maps your body exactly so that you can have much better-fitting clothes when you go shopping at physical retail stores. The body scan can tell much more accurately if you’re really a certain size or not. It’s an example of how body-scanning technology can be applied to commerce in a way that, hopefully, transforms the shopping experience.
London-based Bodymetrics uses Kinect for Windows technology (the same kind of motion sensors used in Microsoft’s Xbox 360 game console). The 16 sensors can capture objects in a 3D space and convert them into digital data, showing the exact shape of your body and how clothes could fit on it.
The company is now installing Bodymetrics Pods (pictured above) at retailers. The first permanent pod will be at the Bloomingdale’s department store at the Stanford Shopping Mall in Palo Alto, Calif., the heart of Silicon Valley. (The company created a pilot pod for the Bloomingdale’s store in Century City in Los Angeles in March). And Bodymetrics says it already has a five-year track record at the Selfridges store in London, where it accounts for 20 percent of Selfridges sale of denim.
The idea is to take the friction out of shopping by getting you clothes that fit.
You can now create a Bodymetrics account inside a store, get your body precisely measured, and get access to this data from any mobile device or PC. You can then continue your shopping experience in either physical or digital stores. Right now, only about 11 percent of apparel sale take place online, since many customers can’t assess properly whether clothes will fit them or not. Returns to retailers can be as high as 40 percent, due to poor fits. Bodymetrics hopes to reduce the percentage of returns.
Bodymetrics was founded in 2000 as a spin-off from research developed by University College London. It now has 20 employees. Investors include TAL Group and Suran Goonatilake, the founder of the company. Bodymetrics has raised $8 million to date. Rivals include True Fit, Meality, and Fitted Fashion.