Intellifit Bodyscan Technology for Public Sizing and Fit Services
Intellifit Technology Inventors
Ed Gribbin, the former president of Intellifit and, along with Albert Charpentier, are the co-inventors of the Intellifit scanner. The Intellifit body scanner uses radio wave technology (safe low-power millimeter waves) that were licensed from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in 2002. Ed states that “Intellifit is the only body scan technology that can collect body measurements while people remain fully clothed.” Ed and Albert are technological pioneers in public body scanning technology to determine size and fit. Their Intellifit technology is a critical foundation ingredient that is totally transforming and enabling an integrated process to target sizing and fit standards for retail brands.
In the article Body-scanning kiosk wows apparel shoppers , Ed and Albert stated the following:
At the time that the Intellifit scanner was developed, I was helping a few retailers improve their size specifications,” said Ed Gribbin, director of strategic services for AlvaProducts’ global consulting division and co-inventor of Intellifit. We tried to do a manual measurement survey using trained seamstresses, and we realized the limitations of taking 36 points of measure on a body manually. We looked to other body scan technologies as a first step, thinking that would be a way to automate the tailor. But all these technologies required the subject to get undressed, step into a booth, and basically get their picture taken. It was no faster than manually measuring someone.
It was also considered obtrusive to subjects in a store setting, according to Gribbin. Intellifit was thusly created as a consumer-friendly scanner, allowing users to be scanned fully clothed. Plus, downsizing the scanning chamber allows for a smaller footprint that retailers can accommodate.
“Consumers see the value proposition immediately,” said Intellifit co-founder and CTO Albert Charpentier. “They understand what it can do for them. Most people are willing to give a couple of minutes of their time to get scanned, because their sizing information is then online and they can utilize it to get better-fitting clothes.”
Edward A. Gribbin is currently the President of Alvanon, Inc. and Albert Charpentier is now the Acting VP Engineering for Unique Solutions/Me-Ality.
Ed Gribbin left Intellifit in 2005 to run his own consulting business (Fitspec, LLC) and licensed the data that Intellifit had collected (and continues to collect) and uses the data to advise retailers and brands on size and fit strategy and solutions. In mid-2006, he merged his consulting practice with Alvanon, who was already a leader in providing fit forms to apparel retailers and brands; the consulting division was known first as ‘Strategic Services’, then ‘AlvaSpec’ and today, ‘AlvaInsight’.He led that division from 2006 to the beginning of 2011 when he became president of Alvanon.
Upon joining Alvanon, Ed saw the need to continue to collect data, especially internationally, so Alvanon bought four or five scanners from Intellifit over the next few years. The scanning division is named ‘AlvaScan’ but it uses the Intellifit (radio wave) scanners; AlvaScan has now collected data in China, Australia, Germany and England and are planning scan studies in India and Brazil in the near future. Alvanon also owns scanners from TC2 (white light) and Human Solutions (laser) but currently they do not use them for large, public data collection situations. Most likely because “Intellifit is the only body scan technology that can collect body measurements while people remain fully clothed.” [author note: that might change with the introduction of the [TC]2 portable KX-16]
The 6/12 Stores article Fit Shapes Up by Faye Brookman states the following:
Alvanon works with brands to expand the number of people they can dress by focusing on body shapes, not just sizing. Originally developed in 2001 by Intellifit Corporation, Alvanon’s AlvaScan is a full-body scanner that captures accurate measurement data in seconds. That data is aggregated and used to create a 3D virtual body, the starting point for making a mannequin. Alvanon has built the largest global database of body measurements by placing the scanners in retail stores or malls.
“Every single one of our mannequins is based on thousands and thousands of body scans of real people,” Ed Gribbin says. “And when we go to our database, we have empirical evidence that backs up what real women out there who are size eight or 10 really look like.
Alvanon is the global leader in providing full service, integrated fit solutions for the apparel industry. With pioneering expertise in strategic fit consulting and the creation and implementation of customized fit mannequins and tools, we offer a holistic approach to solve fit and size issues. [Source: Alvanon About Us page]
Alvanon recently celebrated its 10th year of providing integrated fit technology based products and services to the global soft goods industry. Alvanon has made major positive and innovative effects on branding fit, sizing and product development fit products for companies worldwide. Mr Gribbin speaks about introducing those changes to the “notoriously resistant to change” apparel industry in this video. The video also features Janice Wang, CEO and Co-Founder of Alvanon, Jason Wang, COO and Co-Founder of Alvanon, and Don Howard, Director, AlvaInsight. In the video Janice shares that the origin of the Alvanon name is “Thomas Alva Edison, an innovator that was actually able to commercialize his innovations.” What a concept!
To quote Janice Wang, “At the end of the day we make fashion fit.” Happy 10 year anniversary Alvanon!
The about us section of the Unique Solutions Website states that following:
In 2002, Unique Solutions introduced the proprietary UniqueScan body scanning system (known as the Intellifit® Plus) using white light technology. In addition to over 200,000 points of body measurement, the Intellifit Plus can report BMI, height, weight, and health risk factors.
In 2009, Unique Solutions Design Ltd, acquired Pennsylvania based competitor, Intellifit Corporation. (Unique Solutions Design buys Intellifit, Business Journal. 2009 ) The Intellifit body measurement system uses radio wave technology and was the only system capable of scanning a clothed body. Unique Solutions applied their proprietary software and upgraded the technology (mybestfit) and offers consumers the ability to quickly determine their exact body measurements and be matched to apparel that fits, without having to remove their clothing.
With the launch of mybestfit in King of Prussia Mall – the largest retail shopping mall in the U.S. – Unique Solutions marked the beginning of public body scanning Intellifit technology and clothing size service to help consumers find their best fitting and most flattering styles from hundreds of brand name apparel lines. Because there is no sizing standard in the apparel industry, guessing the right size has been a source of frustration for customers, this service will match body size to brands and in turn reduce customer frustration with ill fit and reduce garment returns. mybestfit was changed to Me-Ality in the fall of 2011.
The Unique Solution/Me-Ality is a free (Intellifit) scanner-based clothes sizing service that records client data, including physical information such as 3-D body measurements, weight, height and BMI, as well as demographic and contact information such as email address, age, zip code and ethnicity. Their market research shows participating retailers increase sales when participating in our retail sizing solution service. Unique Solutions works with apparel and product manufacturers to develop size and fit solutions for their goods.
A 10 second fully clothed visit to a Unique Solution/Me-Ality mall kiosk will provide a free “scan, fit, shop” experience. Customers are matched to the right size and styles for their shapes then given a shopping list of jeans and apparel that will fit and flatter them. The Intellifit scan uses exact body measurements matched to apparel size specifications. They are informed as to what stores in that mall offers selections that will fit them. Customers can also narrow their list to specific style features, or to favorite brands, or the price they want to pay.
Customers view recommended styles on-screen at the kiosk and then print their final selections to go shopping. Their personalized Me-Ality Clothing Size Shopping Guide is emailed to their phone. They can log onto http://www.me-ality.com and create their personal profile and generate as many Shopping Guides, and learn about new brands and styles, as often as they like. Current brands Me-Ality works with are listed here.
You can search planned Me-Ality location for North America to see if a body scanning kiosk is planned for a shopping center near you.
Visit a Me-Ality Size Matching Station and be scanned to get matched to apparel that will fit. Then you can:
• Create and print your personal Shopping Guide
• Customize your fashion searches
• Search hundreds of styles
• Receive recommendations that will fit & flatter you best
• Make shopping fun and accurate
• Make shopping faster and easier knowing what size you wear