I’m the sort of person who likes to buy things online. Batteries? Yup. Groceries? You bet. And I just bought a garbage can that opens automatically when you get close to it (magic!).
But there’s one big area where online shopping has always fallen short: clothes shopping. If you’ve ever tried ordering a shirt or jeans off the web, then you know the feeling — the site says it’s a medium, but you’re not sure if you should move up to the large instead. And then when the shirt actually arrives, you find that it drapes in all the wrong ways and looks vaguely like a poncho. Even when there’s free return shipping, it’s still a pain to get another size.
If only there were a better way.
UPcloud is a new startup launching today at TC Disrupt Beijing, and it thinks it has it.
The company is doing something that many of us have wished for: it uses your computer’s webcam to size you up, then recommend clothing that will fit you well. You calibrate the service by standing in front of a camera and holding a CD (which have a consistent shape). Then you can shop across any of the sites that have integrated UPcload. Each site gives UPcload size information about each item, which is matched against your fit profile.
The question, then, is whether it really works. Our first tests were promising, and the site already has one major vote of confidence: it’s currently in testing with The North Face.