Shopping online can be challenging as size inconsistency often leaves consumers at a loss for how things will fit, but a new 3-D measurement technology has its sights set on alleviating the problem.
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has developed a 3-D human modeling technology it says can digitally reconstruct a person’s shape and size measurements from two full body photographs within five to 10 seconds.
For Doctors Tracy P.Y. Mok and Zhu Shuaiyin of PolyU’s Institute of Textiles and Clothing, the aim with the technology is to improve the online shopping experiences, enable designers to make bespoke garments and reduce general apparel fit issues.
According to PolyU, computer graphic and vision technology enables the 3-D technology to create a customized human model automatically. From there, the tech can reconstruct a 3-D shape of the human body and extract more than 50 size measurements of different body parts, including arm length, shoulder slope, and the perimeters of the bust, calf, hip, knee, neck, thigh and waist, accurately.
Whether the person using the tech wears close fitting or loose fitting apparel, the differences in measurements are less than two centimeters, an accuracy level nearly akin to some body scanning technologies.
PolyU developed four methods to digitize human models. First, they detected body parts in tight fitting apparel from front view and side view 2-D images and used the images to construct 3-D models. Developers then predicted body profiles based on input images with wearers in tight fitting, normal fitting and loose fitting apparel. Deep learning technology divided the 3-D human body images from the background and helped improve the accuracy of body shape modeling. Lastly, PolyU developed a mobile application of the 3-D technology, which can take photos, customize models and extract body size information.
“The output models can also enable customers to visualize try-on effects before purchases in online stores,” Zhu said. “This frees us from the limitations imposed by taking body measurements physically, helping customers to select the right size in online clothing purchases.”
Zhu, with support from the Shanghai Technology Entrepreneurship Foundation-PolyU China Entrepreneurship Fund, opened a startup, TOZI, in Shenzhen, China to further develop and commercialize the technology. Mok and Zhu have plans to make the 3-D technology readily available to the apparel industry and consumers.