The US-based startup's technology can take a user’s measurements with a smartphone and tablet camera for bespoke outfitters.
How often are you satisfied with the fit of the clothes you painstakingly picked online? We have all faced situations where we have had to return the clothes we ordered online because they just don’t fit right, even if they are in our size.
Agonised with incorrect fits, 51-year-old Arup Chakraborty started Mirrorsize in December 2018. The startup provides Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled software that takes measurements of a human body using cameras in smartphones and tablets.
How it all began
Arup, who has lived in the US for more than two decades, has a weakness for Brooks Brothers shirts. “Once I placed an order for a shirt, but when it was delivered it didn’t fit me. I asked for a replacement and again I met with the same fate. Finally, I decided to drive down to the store in New Jersey to get myself measured by their tailor and then get to know the right size,” says Arup, Founder and CEO of Mirrorsize, who we noticed was wearing a Brooks Brothers shirt while speaking to YourStory at a cafe in Delhi’s Connaught Place.
Digging deeper, Arup found that this fitting issue is a multi-billion-dollar problem. “Sometimes, online returns are as high as 55 percent globally, predominantly due to fitting issues,” he adds.
Arup noticed that the existing online shopping system either provides size charts to help consumers find the right sized clothing or some e-tailers use data-driven personalisation platforms that ask users a few questions and run an algorithm that makes size recommendations. This was when he decided to solve this complex problem that all brands face today.
Arup comes with a finance background and has worked with multiple product startups in the US as their CFO. He has helped these startups raise funding, launch IPOs, and even get acquired by MNCs.
With Mirrorsize as a B2B solution in mind, from mid-2016, Arup started talking to various professors across universities such as Stanford University, IITs, and NITs in India.
Finally, Arup roped in two professors, Subhasis Banerjee and Sudipto Mukherjee from IIT Delhi, as technical advisors to spearhead the product development process. This also made Arup come back to India. Mirrorsize is a US-headquartered startup that has set up its research centre and its Indian arm in Delhi.
How does the technology work?
So what does Mirrorsize do?
“We generate a 3D model of the object, in this case a human, on the run-time and deform the 3D model into his or her shape,” explains Arup, adding that no other company does this till date.
Arup claims the technology used by Mirrorsize is even more accurate than that which was developed by Germany-based Michael Black, who is known to be the ‘guru of 3D mesh’. Black developed a similar technology to deform a 3D mesh from two images and claimed accuracy of 8 cm - 10 cm. His company, Bodylabs, was later acquired by Amazon in 2017. “We claim our accuracy to be one cm,” Anup quips.
Mirrorsize has different solutions for different businesses. For instance, its ‘GetMeasured’ software is for bespoke merchants to get precise body measurements of their customers, while ‘Size2Fit’ is for merchants selling readymade apparels, where the product gives precise brand-wise size recommendations to a customer.
In the first quarter of 2019, the startup intends to launch ‘Draping’, which will let customers select fabric, style etc, and “we will virtually sew the apparel to drape it on the person real time on his/her mobile to give real-life visualisation,” Anup says.
Arup further explains:
“Think of it this way; when a product is pasted on you, if you move, the product does not move with you, but with draping, it is actually like virtually wearing the apparel,” he adds.
Mirrorsize has filed for patents for the technologies developed by the startup.
Not just fashion
Mirrorsize is essentially a B2B startup providing licence to enterprises to integrate its technology on their mobile and web platform with a click of a button. Arup expects to hit $30 million in global revenue for the FY 2019-20.
Arup is not only eyeing the fashion industry but is also looking at sectors like defence, airline, hospitality, and education, etc, wherever there is a need for uniforms. The company has sealed some deals across these sectors in India, the US, Sweden, the UK, and Italy. In Delhi, Get Stitched, a high-end fashion boutique, will be using the technology.
There are global companies like Tailorguide, Bodi.me, Styku, and Mtailor that have solutions similar to Mirrorsize. “Many are trying to solve this industry-wide issue of wrong size or bad fitting clothes, but they either charge high or need additional hardware or a specific device,” said Arup.
Google launched Tango, a special smartphone with built-in hardware to get precise body measurements, but users have to spend $1,700 to use it. The product was discontinued by Google this year.
Mirrorsize is device-agnostic and no hardware is needed to use the product. “Any smartphone and tablet having a front camera of at least two megapixels will work,” Arup says. Mirrorsize works for all kinds of clothing, including loose-fitting pieces like salwar-kameez.
India to be R&D hub
The bootstrapped Mirrorsize is looking to raise Series A funding of $5 million by the first half of 2019, and will open a new R&D centre in Bengaluru, and will double the team to 30 by next year.