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3D Body-Scanning Technology: Creating the Perfect Fit

Executive Summary

  • Most ready-to-wear apparel manufacturers decide the fit and sizing of their garments based on limited information. In the absence of accurate body measurement data, apparel companies generally size garments by using fit models in one or two standard sizes, and then scale prototypes proportionally to all sizes based on the originals. For a consumer, finding the right size for one’s body shape is often challenging, as the retail industry has no standard sizing system for all brands.
  • 3D body-scanning technology could be the solution to these fitting challenges. The noncontact technology can be used to capture the shape of a human body via a line of laser lights or a camera. The technology records the body’s exact shape and size and creates a 3D digital model of the body within seconds.
  • 3D body-scanning technology can help apparel companies create garments with a more accurate fit by providing true measurements of customers of different shapes and sizes. Body-scanning tools can also benefit consumers, by enabling them to virtually try on clothing in order to find the best fit. Use of such tools could, in turn, drive down return rates for online orders, which are currently as high as 30%–40%.
  • Looking beyond current industry practices, consumer-generated 3D body measurement data could help retailers optimize the size composition of their inventory and avoid excess markdowns. Retailers could use body measurement data collected by devices such as fitness scales and smartphones to make sizing decisions. We might see further interconnection between artificial-intelligence-powered shopping devices (such as Amazon’s Echo) and body-shape-tracking devices that results in a more seamless shopping experience.

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