Sanya Zillich von ShoeFitter:
As experts in computer vision and 3D reconstruction, we enthusiastically followed the announcement of Apple’s FaceID sensor in 2019 – the first sensor in a smartphone that guarantees millimeter-accurate scans in the near field. With the persistence of the sensor in subsequent generations of the iPhone and the release of its data to developers, it was clear that an important platform was opening up here to explore innovative solutions. We found a relevant problem that this new technology can solve in the shoe market: the accuracy of the new smartphone sensor, which many people now carry in their pockets, can for example help them choose the right shoe size quickly and effectively. Although we founded ShoeFitter GmbH only 10 months ago, the idea was born in 2019. As experts in the fields of computer vision and 3D reconstruction, we initially watched the announcement of the FaceID sensor in the iPhones X with enthusiasm. However, the sensor then became really exciting with its continuation in the successor model and the release of the sensor data for developers. It was clear to us that this was an important platform for finding innovative solutions. We had first seen the solution, so to speak, and then found a suitable problem with the shoe market. Now we use the accuracy of the sensor to scan feet and therefore recommend suitable foot products.
We enable people to scan their feet anywhere and at any time and have perfectly fitting foot products recommended or manufactured. To do this, we are developing software that takes advantage of the high accuracy of the sensor and optimizes the individual depth images for our use cases using additional sensor data and machine learning. Our goal is to provide an application that can be intuitively operated by the user and allows us to reconstruct the scanned foot quickly, accurately and resiliently from the user-generated individual images.
Status quo and further steps
We got in touch with major footwear manufacturers and distributors at an early stage to understand their challenges. In collaboration with selected partners, we have already driven our software to operational readiness for a specific product segment. We are starting the first customer orders and are in close contact with many major shoe manufacturers. In parallel, we are generating as much data as possible outside the market to continuously improve our machine learning algorithms and thus the robustness of the software.
Our experiences with Vodafone UPLIFT
The Vodafone UPLIFT PACESETTER program has strengthened us, particularly in the IT infrastructure: Anyone who has to deal with the exchange of large volumes of data between the mobile network and the cloud knows what they have in Vodafone. In addition, we were able to make contacts in the industry at UPLIFT events that has already helped us in the long term.