Viewpoints on Innovation

Perspectives on 3D Body Scanning for Apparel Design & Development

Strategy Retail
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In February, 2017, the 3D Retail Coalition (3D.RC) hosted a webcast with the IEEE on 3D body processing. Here are some key takeaways from the webcast.

A Little Background…

The 3D.RC’s February, 2017 webinar included a presentation from Rudi Schubert, an expert from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association (IEEE-SA). The IEEE provides a collaborative and industry-neutral approach to emerging technology, and the IEEE-SA has a current initiative to establish standards for 3D Body Processing (3DBP). The 3DBP initiative focuses on how emerging technologies - such as scanning, modeling, and visualization solutions using IoT, 5G, AI, and cloud computing - redefine and accelerate how people interact with smart spaces and machines to shop.

Why are Standards So Important?

Advances in depth-sensing technologies have enabled scanning from smart phones, tablets, and PCs. Consumers can create unique body models, but what happens next? How can I try on garments virtually to assess fit? Can I share my body model across retailers? How can I maintain privacy of my digital model? The increase in the number of companies and technologies involved only contributes to data fragmentation and incompatibility.

Standards can be employed to allow different groups and technologies to communicate using a universal language. Many current retail challenges in 3D relate to solutions that do not “talk” to other applications, no clear definition of what constitutes a “good” 3D image, and splintering of sizes and fits.

The Big Challenge: Sales Returns Due to Fit

Sales returns is a major issue faced by retailers today, and the amount of returns due to fit is staggering. Worldwide sales returns due to the wrong size amount to over $60 billion. With US online sales of apparel and accessories expected to rise by approximately 20% over the next four years, a solution that helps consumers select a size that fits will be critical to reducing lost sales incurred from returns. To address this challenge, the 3D.RC is mobilizing with the IEEE-SA and the ecosystem of body scanning companies, software suppliers, and retailers.

The objectives for IEEE-SA’s 3DBP initiative are to provide recommendations for standards in the following areas:

  • Formats, protocols, and security methods for exchanging 3D body model files
  • Communication among entities that provide 3DBP services via the cloud
  • Metadata associated with 3D body model files
  • Authenticating file information and encrypting vendor-specific proprietary information
  • Providing information about the quality of model in the file

The 3D.RC’s inspiration is to enable solutions by exploring 3D software interoperability, scalability, affordability, and quality of experience. Assisting consumers in selecting the right size the first time provides a more rewarding experience, and provides value across the industry.

You can download the slides from the webinar, and learn about how to join the effort, at the 3D.RC website.


About the 3D.RC

The 3D Retail Coalition (3D.RC) is a collaborative group of global retailers and brands, working together to advance 3D technology for apparel, accessories, and footwear retailers/manufacturers. Our mission is to provide resources and networking opportunities to help members unlock and accelerate the potential value of 3D visualization and virtualization, while maximizing positive impact within their organizations. 

The group is open to any retailer/brand currently using (or planning to use) 3D technology.

Learn more

Originally published on May 2nd, 2017

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Topics: 3d, Apparel, Perspective, retail

About the Author

Sarah Pierson

Sarah Pierson

Sarah is a high performing project leader with deep retail and systems skills and over 20 years of experience delivering value and results.
More Viewpoints by Sarah Pierson

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