Start Today, owner of Japan's largest online fashion retailer, has released what looks like hi-tech long underwear, but might well revolutionize buying clothes online. Called ZozoSuit, the garment created by StretchSense contains over 150 integrated capacitive stretch sensors that capture 15,000 precise body measurements to ensure that clothes purchased over the internet are a good fit.
The internet has revolutionized commerce, but one area where online shopping still lags is in buying clothing. Unlike a phone or a speaker, clothing is very personal and the same size can vary widely across different brands so a top or a skirt that looks great on the screen may fit like a sack when delivered. Since it isn't possible to put a changing room on a website, it's small wonder that online clothing retailers strive for a very efficient returns system to deal with all the misfit clothes.
To help improve customer satisfaction and reduce return shipping costs, ZozoSuit was developed in collaboration between Start Today and New Zealand-based StretchSense, building on initial research by the Biomimetics Lab of the University of Auckland's Bioengineering Institute.
Described as a "disappearble," the skintight ZozoSuit is a smart garment that incorporates sensors, wires, and electronics so they look and feel almost invisible to the wearer. Linked via Bluetooth to a proprietary app, the suit will allow customers to order men's and women's clothes from Start Today's Zozotown website and the shipped product will be cut to fit their body shape and size. Aside from the suit-supplied measurements, the system also uses proprietary algorithms and machine learning to create a growing database of body data.
"The ability to measure body size is just one of the applications possible with a smart sensing body suit," says Shin Jeong Park, StretchSense Marketing Director. "Stretch sensors are a great tool to capture information about how people move in the world; from that information you can draw conclusions about motion, pose and health. The data from our sensing technology is helping to push the boundaries of human performance."
In the United States, customers can pre-order the ZozoSuit for free. not including shipping and handling, with orders shipping in the second quarter of 2018.
The video below teases ZozoSuit's release.
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