We all know the feeling. You’ve found the perfect jacket online, chosen your size, filled in your card details and pressed the big, shiny ‘BUY’ button. The tedious wait for the package to be delivered is only worsened by the disappointment of trying the jacket on and realising you’ve bought a size too small. Three Faroe Islanders have found a solution where you might never need to return an online clothing purchase again.
Threedeemee, founded by three friends from Hoyvík, a suburb of Tórshavn, is currently in the process of developing a system that uses augmented reality to create a 3D avatar of a person’s body. Using their mobile phone cameras via an app, people will be able to use customised 3D avatars to try on clothes – an online fitting room, essentially.
The global apparel retail market is estimated to account for US$1.7 trillion in 2018, of which online sales are expected to account for greater than 8%, providing a market opportunity exceeding US$136 billion with online sales growing at a steady 17% year on year. Pætur Mortensen, the company’s CTO, believes there is great potential for a personalised online fitting room.
“People are reluctant to buy clothes online because they don’t know how the clothes will fit,” says Pætur. “All physical apparel stores have fitting rooms, so it seems only sensible that there be an online version as well. The goal is to improve people’s online shopping experience and enhance the retailer’s online sales while minimizing product returns.”
Threedeemee, which has offices in the UK, Spain, Denmark and Thailand, is funded through crowdfunding, where investors can buy shares for £10 each. So far, the company has raised nearly half of its £250,000 target. Threedeemee is currently in the process of developing avatar prototypes and will implement an 11-month development plan once the financing stage is complete.
Words: Levi Hansson, faroeislands.fo