Donal Reddington on mass customization, crowdsourcing and digital manufacturing

A practical example of in-store body scanning

The ARTIVIDUUM fashion label recently has recently opened a store in Frankfurt, the German metropolis on the Main river. In February 2007, owner Verica Hauch opened the doors to her new store. She opted exclusively for tailored and, more interestingly from this website’s perspective, mass-produced customized clothing. She uses the slogan “Be your own designer”, and customers can actively participate in the design of their own clothing.

The store is one of a growing number that uses a 3D body scanner to take customers’ measurements digitally. The 3D body scanner and RETAILOR SHOP 3D software solution is provided by Human Solutions GmbH of Kaiserslautern, Germany.

During the sales talk, the RETAILOR program provides support for the professional sales person and also helps the customer with his or her decisions, from the basic questions like which cloth or cut to details like the choice of buttons. All data is transmitted online to the available manufacturer of the customer’s choice. The garments are then made and delivered within four weeks.

The store in question is one of a growing number in Europe that have employed body-scanning technology. It was always going to be the case that the deployment of body scanners would be a gradual process.

Shopping for clothes is for many people a social experience (not for me – I try and avoid it). The typical four week waiting time for customized clothing items is an obstacle to the more widespread acceptance of body scanning systems. Waiting a month for something takes away a lot of the customer experience. The next major development will be when the turnaround time for custom-made clothing can be reduced to no more than 48 hours. When this is achieved, it is only a matter of time before body scanning systems become commonplace in regular clothing stores, as well as the more upmarket establishments.

It is often the case that technology providers will issue news releases describing how individual clients have successfully implemented their systems. This story was brought to my attention by a news release of this type. When the PR-speak is removed, there is sometimes interesting information to be found.

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2 Responses to “A practical example of in-store body scanning”

  1. Phil Says:

    How do you propose suits are delivered within 48hours? If you are looking for this kind of service, it would be very expensive given that the manufacturing facility would have to be located close to the customer’s location. I think customers are happy to wait a little more and pay a lot less.

  2. Thomas Bailey Says:

    Any plans to have this in the San Francisco Bay Area? Westfield San Francisco would be a good place to have this.

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