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Webcam Enabled Algorithm Helps Shoppers Find The Best Fit Online [Future Of Retail]

Webcam Enabled Algorithm Helps Shoppers Find The Best Fit Online [Future Of Retail]
Retail

UPcload takes 20 different body measurements, helping shoppers have better success making purchases on the Internet.

Allie Walker
  • 21 july 2012

Our latest Future Of Retail Report looks at the trend of Fit With A Click. One manifestation of this trend can be seen in UPcload, a company who has developed a webcam measuring system that helps online shoppers find accurate product sizes from the comfort of their own homes. Using webcam-enabled object recognition technology, UPcload measures 20 different points on a user’s body to ensure that the clothes bought online will fit once they arrive in person. After users have created a profile with the service, they can access this profile while shopping with any retailer within UPcload’s network. We reached out to Founder Asaf Moses, to get his thoughts on the benefits of using the service when shopping online.

Tell us a little about UPcload. How does it work?

UPcload is Berlin-based startup that measures people via webcam and then gives fit predictions. By measuring over 20 different body dimensions, with the accuracy of a professional tailor, UPcload ensures that the clothes bought online, fit offline. Users need only get measured once and can then create an UPcload-ID with their exact body dimensions. This ID can be used on every shopping website belonging to the UPcload network.

UPcload uses cutting edge-object recognition technology to calculate a person’s dimensions. Essentially UPcload uses your webcam to provide images, which are then submitted to a three-step process of recognition, segmentation and measurement. The CD serves as a reference object, which allows the application to understand the size of other objects in the picture. Since a CD is a uniform 12cm in diameter, we know that if a CD is 24 pixels then every pixel is equal to 0.5cm. Using this equation we’re able to calculate body dimensions. For example, an arm that is 48 pixels long measures 24cm.

upcload-customer-scanning

Are there any notable figures or statistics around customer engagement and usage?

We had a waiting list before we even launched. Within two weeks we had over 3000 new users. That number continues to rapidly grow everyday. Of those 3000, 95%+ completed the measurement process successfully and over 90% received an accurate fit prediction.

We have noticed that enhanced customer scanning software is offering unprecedented ways for retailers to remotely tailor products for their customers, ensuring consumers reach a new level of comfort and satisfaction in their online shopping experience. Do you see this trend manifesting on a wider scale? How so?

Certainly. If we look at current shopping trends, we can see that until recently there was a huge gap between technology and people’s reality. People have different lifestyles now and therefore have different needs. Scanning software such as ours seeks to bridge this gap, as it offers people an easy solution that speaks to their current reality.

In general, I think we’ll see the online market for clothes shopping expanding, as right now it only makes up 7% of total sales. As technology continues to encourage a more enjoyable and social online shopping experience, more people will look to the Internet for hassle-free clothes shopping.

upcload-customer-scanning

What are the opportunities for retailers using UPcload? How will consumers benefit from using this technology?

UPcload seeks to solve the two main problems in e-commerce. First, a customers huge uncertainty regarding fit, resulting in a decrease of online sales. Next, there is a 40% average return rate in the e-apparel industry, which leads to high costs for retailers. The main reason for return is because the item does not fit. UPcload offers solutions to both these problems.

UPcload shows online shoppers exactly how clothes are going to fit them. They can see where a shirtsleeve will hit or whether a collar will be tight in the neck. UPcload doesn’t just give a size recommendation; it lets users see how clothes will fit them and then allows them to choose how they want to wear their clothes. By providing consumers with the information they need, we can help online shops reduce returns and increase conversion.

Thanks Asaf!

UPcload

A summary of PSFK’s Future of Retail report is available to view for free – and a download of the full 100 page document can be ordered today.

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