Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fits.Me's Shape-Shifting Robot Lets You Try On Clothes Online

Fast Company reports that Fits.me, an Estonia start-up, is offering a robotic mannequin that takes your body measurements and mimics your shape, so that you can see online exactly how clothing would fit you. A German eCommerce test-run showed that the robots increased sales 300%, while reducing returns 28%.

"When I was a kid, I had this dream that one day, I would have an army of robots to rule the world," says Heikki Haldre, Fits.Me's CEO. "I've only got a couple now, but that's okay."

The robot is capable of replicating 2,000 body shapes. When a retailer signs up with Fits.me, they first send in their clothes. Each size is placed on the robot, which then cycles through all the body shapes it knows. While that's going on, a camera is taking pictures of each permutation. This photographic log is then stored in an online database. Once you go online and type your measurements into the retailer's site, it calls up the photo corresponding to your precise body type and clothing size.

Fits.me is now pursuing several new retail partnerships. Though there's only a male mannequin for now, they'll be unveiling a female mannequin in November. The expansion was funded by a $3.5 million second-round of financing; the lead investor has been the Estonian development fund.

The company retained four different university research groups to create the mannequin. The first prototype took three years to perfect.

Fits.me Virtual Fitting Room

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