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Topics: Online shopping, Retailing, Rate of return Pages: 7 (1277 words) Published: December 17, 2013
Startup Revolutionizes Apparel Shopping,
Reduces Returns with Virtual Fitting Room

Customer: Styku
Website: www.styku.com
Customer Size: 9 employees
Country or Region: United States
Industry: Professional services—
Software engineering

"Utilizing multiple Kinect for Windows depth sensors,
we were able to create a full body scan in only one
second.”
Raj Sareen, Chief Executive Officer, Styku

Styku is out to solve the problem of finding clothes that fit. It

Customer Profile
Styku has pioneered an apparel-fitting
visualization platform that retailers can
use to let consumers virtually try on
clothing before they buy. The Los
Angeles-based startup has nine
employees.

paired Kinect for Windows with its software to give consumers a

Software and Services
 Kinect for Windows
 Technologies
− Data depth
− Microsoft .NET Framework

retailers valuable feedback. Styku moved to market quickly using

Hardware
 Kinect for Windows sensor

For more information about other
Microsoft customer successes, please visit:
www.microsoft.com/casestudies

chance to virtually try on clothes before they buy. The
technology, soon to be offered by major retailers, such as
Brooks Brothers, IM-Label, and others, aims to improve the
shopping experience, boost retail sales, reduce returns, and give the Kinect for Windows sensor and software development kit.
Business Needs
While many people love to shop, others
hate the frustration of trying on item after
item. It’s even worse in the online world,
where some consumers won’t buy clothing
for fear of having to return items. Those
that do shop online often return up to 40
percent of their purchases (“Finding the
Right Fit for Online Clothing Sales,” Bernice
Hurst, RetailWire, January 2012). The
problem is compounded for military
uniform manufacturers, which often fit
thousands of soldiers multiple times a
year. Poor-fitting body armor makes
soldiers more vulnerable and limits their
mobility, which could result in injury (“A
decade into war, body armor gets curves,”

Ernesto Londono, Washington Post,
September 2012).
Styku is a California startup that set out to
solve these problems. The company came
up with a way for consumers to virtually try
on clothes before buying. The solution
consists of a body scanner and clothesfitting software, called the Styku Smart Fitting Room. However, Styku found that
earlier commercial body scanners were
way too expensive for mass retail use,
costing up to US$100,000 apiece, and were
also slow and bulky. Most had a scan time
of 8 to 12 seconds, during which time
people would fidget and compromise scan
accuracy.

Solution
In early 2011, Styku learned of Kinect for
Windows, a sensor and software
development kit (SDK) that provides
developers with tools to create a new class
of Windows-based applications that use
gestures and voice to interact with
computers. The Kinect for Windows sensor
includes a camera, depth sensors, and
multi-array microphone that track body
movement. The SDK provides tools for
assimilating sensor data to create novel
applications.
Styku Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Raj Sareen was thrilled to find a sleek, costeffective scanning solution. “Utilizing multiple Kinect for Windows depth sensors,
we were able to create a full body scan in
only one second and offer a 3-D body
scanner at a fraction of the cost of
traditional body scanners,” Sareen says.
The Styku software solution is based on an
industry-standard 3-D garment-fitting
software program. “The Kinect for Windows
SDK enabled us to quickly start developing
with Kinect for Windows,” says Pierre Du
Charme, Vice President of Software
Engineering for Styku. “The application
programming interface is simple,
predictable, easy to use, powerful, and
elegant. We are very pleased with the users’
ability to control our applications using
both voice and gestures.”
Consumers use the software to...
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