Italian startup XYZE (“size”) is currently crowd funding what it’s calling a smart “wearable” measuring tape. Dubbed “On”, the rather neat-looking gadget aims to help solve the clothes shopping size problem, whereby, when shopping for clothes online, the clothes you buy end up being the wrong size.
That’s because many fashion retailers and brands use their own size charts — small, medium, large etc. — that don’t always correspond to the same measurements, presuming, of course, you’ve actually measured your body correctly in the first place.
To solve both problems, XYZE’s solution consists of what appears to be a near fool-proof take on the humble measuring tape, coupled with an app that does the size translations for various clothing lines and stores for you.
“People don’t know what size to order when they shop online because brands’ sizes all differ. It is very hard to know what size ‘medium’ is, for example. Our goal is to make the online shopping experience even easier,” the company’s founders, Paolo Spiga and Andrea Mazzon, told me in an email.
“We created a technology to take accurate body measurements easily with a user-friendly product and we connect your measurement with your size. Not only will it save time and money, but you will feel confident knowing your must-have purchase will fit when it arrives at your doorstep.”
The On device, which has been 18 months in development, is essentially a digital measuring tape that connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Specs-wise, it consists of up to 160 cm (63 inch) of circular tape, and is powered by a 3V removable ‘coin’ battery that XYZE claims lasts (up to) 48 months.
The circular element of the tape mechanism means that it’s possible to measure various parts of your body shape (waist, hips etc.) without the need to fiddle with two ends of a tape measure. That’s presumably what the startup means when it says the device is wearable, as you can tighten the loop enough to be hands-free while you operate your phone or tablet.
Then, coupled with the XYZE app, which includes walkthrough instructions on how to measure correctly, your sizes are recorded and stored as your XYZE ID. This data is then translated and matched to various clothing brands and store’s own sizing charts to ensure you only buy garments that should actually fit.
That’s the theory anyway, and is a potentially very interesting take on the virtual fitting room problem. To that end, XYZE says that its B2B solution will integrate with major brands’ websites. “The XYZE widget will automatically determine the right size for shoppers,” the startup adds.