A 3D body scanning solution that builds a 3D body model from just two smartphone photographs has been launched today, providing retailers with a tool to enhance customer experiences and reduce returns.

The platform, meepl, has been developed by engineering graduates from ETH Zurich in Switzerland and enables shoppers to create their own 3D body avatar by taking two pictures in specific poses, the data from which is then used to create the avatar using AI. This process automatically generates more than 45 body measurements, which meepl describes as being comparable to a professional tailor.

The resulting 3D body avatar can then be used to virtually try on clothes in meepl’s Virtual Dressing Room solution.

Bringing 3D body scanning via smartphone to e-commerce

The 3D body scanning solution has been designed to integrate with brands’ own e-commerce platforms, enabling customers to use the platform to determine what size of specific garments will fit them best.

The platform also enables shoppers to browse products on their own avatar.

Meepl says that the solution will reduce return rates and increase the use of online shopping, with 41% of shoppers currently purchasing clothes in multiple sizes with the intention of returning those that do not fit, and 21% avoiding online shopping altogether over fitting fears.

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Although this is not the first 3D body scanning solution to work with a smartphone, with some solutions already in trials at major brands including ASOS, the ability to create a complete 3D avatar from just two images is believed to be a first, which meepl believes will enhance the experience for customers.

“Retail businesses are increasingly focused on developing and improving the online shopping experience for customers. Technology has developed exponentially over the last few years and the realms of what is now possible are exciting for both retailers and shoppers,” said Ferdinand Metzler, CEO of meepl.

“Online retail businesses that explore Virtual Dressing Room solutions will better assist customers to experience the look, style and fit of garments on their own personalised 3D version of their body. The addition of this experience to the online shopping journey will help to tackle the need for unnecessary returns, and improve the purchase success rates.”

Read more: Is 3D body scanning the future of fashion?