A NASA scientist has developed an iPhone app called ThirdLove that can precisely calculate a woman's bra size from just a few pictures of the woman's chest. It then uses visualization technology to read the photos and return the precise bra size that user needs. Women can then shop directly though the app for bras that fit them.
That app may seem like a silly idea, but as co-founder Heidi Zak told VentureBeat, there is a very real need for it in the undergarments marketplace:
"The number one reason people return products that they buy online is due to fit. We have created an app using computer vision technology that consumers can use to fit themselves. We use computer algorithms to calculate her actual measurements and place her in the correct size."
How exactly ThirdLove’s proprietary bra-fitting technology works is the subject of seven patents. The start-up’s in-house team includes four computer vision and image recognition engineers recruited from companies like Nvidia NVDA -0.15%, inventor of the modern graphics processing unit.
All a shopper must do is stand in front a mirror wearing a fitted tank top and snap two iPhone “selfies” at two slightly different angles. The iPhone itself then acts as a calibration object, or a standard unit of measure.
“As the woman takes the photo, our algorithm understands the size of her body as it relates to the size of her phone,” explained Zak.