Authorization

Meet the 25-year-old Swedish woman using 3D scanning to make shoes fit perfectly

Meet the 25-year-old Swedish woman using 3D scanning to make shoes fit perfectlyCaroline Walerud wants you to forget your shoe size. Or, at least, to forget that number youve been reeling off to salespeople for years, like a U.S. 9, or a European 40. Its likely that it isnt quite right anyway, given the complex anatomical structure of our feet and the inconsistent sizing used by footwear brands.

Half of women regularly buy shoes that dont fit, says the 25-year-old, who is a member of the first ever Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list.

Waleruds company, Stockholm-based Volumental, aims to solve this problem. Since 2012, the Cambridge University neuroscience graduate has been working alongside her three cofounders computer vision experts to build technology that uses 3D scanning to ensure a perfect fit.

Volumentals hardware includes a platform that looks not unlike a high-tech scale (see below). All a shoe shopper has to do is stand on it, and depth cameras take a 3D, volumetric scan of each foot. The companys software, which includes Intel and Microsoft technology, captures data points including arch length and ball width that a shoe retailer would find it tough to measure accurately using traditional tools.
Meet the 25-year-old Swedish woman using 3D scanning to make shoes fit perfectly

The 3D scan is instantly displayed on a tablet, allowing a shoe salesperson to make recommendations for each customer. He or she will be able to tell a shopper which shoes in its existing inventory will fit. Volumentals first big U.S. partnership, with high-end chain Nordstrom, was announced on Monday.

The company already has scanners on the ground in Japan, where theyre being used to develop a consumer app for shoe recommendations. Volumentals technology is also being used to make bespoke shoes, with Swedish brand Falchenberg and German outfit Scarosso both creating customized Italian leather shoes based on 3D imaging.
Meet the 25-year-old Swedish woman using 3D scanning to make shoes fit perfectly

Walerud has raised some $5 million to date, including backing from venture capital firms and the Swedish government.

As it rolls its technology out in the U.S., Volumental is simultaneously growing its second business: face scanning for opticians and eyewear brands. The companys scanners provide an accurate, 3D topography of the face, aiming to ensure glasses fit perfectly. The optician is able to make micro-adjustments based on measurements of, say, temple length or nasal bridge, showing a customer the resulting look on one of Volumentals tablets in real-time.

Volumental has partnered with German manufacturer Mykita, which sells its fashionable optical glasses and sunglasses in over 80 countries.
Meet the 25-year-old Swedish woman using 3D scanning to make shoes fit perfectly

Walerud has won all manner of awards since cofounding the company. She was named #1 Super Talent of the Year by Swedish business weekly Veckans Affärer in 2013, at age 23. Previous winners have included billionaire Spotify founder Daniel Ek.

Before Volumental, Walerud worked briefly with a satellite image analysis startup. But she was an entrepreneur long before that. During summers as a teenager, she baked and sold homemade bread in the Swedish resort area of Kungshamn. This taught me the fundamentals of business: pricing strategy, customer targeting and cash flow management, she notes on her LinkedIn page, adding: Immediate profitability with over 80% margin.

Source: Forbes
.
See also:
Leave a comment
TOP Video
News
  • Latest
  • Read
  • Commented
Calendar Content
«    February 2017    »
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728