No matter how sure you are of your size, buying clothes online always carries the risk that they won't fit correctly when they arrive. With different brands having different ideas of what's small, medium and large, how do you know for certain that you've ticked the right box? Italian fashion startup Xyze (pronounced "size") is currently running a crowdfunding campaign for a smart measuring tape that records your body's dimensions and translates this to a particular brand's size chart, threatening to deal a critical blow to the "never worn" category on eBay.
Simply called On, the tape pulls out of its casing to form a 160 cm (63 in) retractable loop, which can be slipped over your head and around your chest, hips, waist and anything else that might need measuring. This data is then shared with a companion iOS app (Android support is on the way) over Bluetooth, which applies your body measurements to each clothing label's size charts to find you a snugly fitting garment.
The information is also used to create what's called a Xyze ID, which stores measurements of everything from the size of your head to the width of your thighs. The idea is that this digital profile can then be called on as you browse clothing items at different online retailers to immediately tell you what size you need.
Whether or not the Xyze team can convince enough online retailers to adopt the On tape to make the product successful remains to be seen, but on the surface at least it does appear to offer a clever solution to a common problem.
The device itself measures 52 x 28.5 x 50 mm (2.05 x 1.12 x 1.97 in) and uses a 3 V battery guaranteed to keep it running for four years. If you've been caught out by ill-fitting internet purchases and feel like On might be part of the solution, you can head over to the company's Indiegogo page, where pledges of €39 (US$60) could have one sent your way. If the campaign runs as planned, shipping is estimated for May 2015.
You can check out the pitch video below.