Digital sizing gains in sophistication as Shopify is granted patent for body-measuring tech
Many a prestige brand currently based on the Shopify ecommerce platform is sure to be intrigued by the news – as reported by Business Insider and elsewhere – that the Canadian multinational has been granted a patent for body-measuring technology.
The tech, which will aid users’ efforts to find their clothing sizes through the accurate use of augmented reality and sensors, is merely the latest development underlining the continued pertinence of Shopify for luxury brands.
Indeed, such has been Shopify’s longstanding interest in the use of virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to assist merchants selling on its platform, the company has recently joined forces with another firm to build and launch 3D and AR visualisations of products.
What else do we know about the Shopify patent?
Having been filed in November 2019, the patent was reportedly granted to Shopify in January this year. Within the patent filing, it is stated that the new system is designed to solve the problem of a lack of consistency of sizing standards across different clothing brands.
The patent is said to have read: “In physical stores, consumers may verify sizing by trying on the garment. For on-line or remote sales, consumers often rely on measurements of body parts to determine an appropriate fit.
“However, body parts are irregular and difficult to measure using traditional methods. Consumers may find it difficult or cumbersome to determine accurate measurements. As such, there is a need for methods and systems to assist users in determining accurate body measurements.”
“Virtual objects may be displayed on the screen”
The filings make clear that the tech will use various methods for the collection of user measurement data. The patent filing describes how a user may open an app on a device such as a mobile phone, computer or smart mirror, and use it to capture images and video clips.
“During image capture,” the filing reads, “the image available or captured by the camera may be displayed to the user as the images are captured. The displayed images may be augmented with additional virtual objects or elements which are not physically present.
“Virtual objects may be displayed on the screen, which may guide the user, provide additional information, or provide entertainment during the image capture.”
Also described in the filing is the possibility of a phone’s in-built sensors being used to take body measurements.
What are the next steps for Shopify, this body-measuring tech, and merchants?
The short answer is: we don’t know. The ecommerce platform has yet to confirm any plans to make the technology available to businesses based on its software, or what timeframe can be expected for its implementation. We don’t even yet know what such an implementation process might involve for merchants.
What we do know, however, is that the fundamental worth of Shopify for luxury brands remains strong. Moreover, the platform’s continuing association with convenience-boosting innovations will not exactly harm its appeal among the highest-end players in their respective sectors.
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