Archive for February, 2010

Gregory Saumier-Finch, General Manager, My Virtual Model

February 20, 2010 1 comment

Gregory Saumier-Finch

As Louise Guay mentioned in the previous post, My Virtual Model closed in November 2009.  In January 2010 plans to rebuild a new company began:  a new company that would benefit from the many years of technology development as well as the vision from the previous company, but with a more current and open approach.

Our new focus is to open up our technology platform to make it available for everyone to create and design with.  Last September, we made a breakthrough enabling virtually any garment on the web to be tried on a Virtual Model with only a few minutes work.  We plan to take this technology – called Quick3D – and bring it to market so people around the world can visualize outfits and mix & match.   I believe in placing the technology in the hands of people to let them innovate remarkable user experiences.  You are welcome to follow our progress at

Hopefully we will continue to work with Louise in the future and create mash-ups with her Responsive City, Augmented Reality and Neogeography projects.  I can’t wait to see how people use My Virtual Model with e-commerce sites, mobile closets, personal shoppers, fashion consulting, games and more.

The Weight Loss Simulator will continue to be supported, due to popular demand.  The new Virtual Model platform will not only allow people to see their start and goal weights as before, but  will enable sites to build their own weight loss experience.

We hope to be doing more projects in collaboration with Elaine Polvinen in the future.  In the meantime, your feedback and ideas are very welcome.

Gregory Saumier-Finch, February 2010

Part I of this post: Louise Guay            : What I Am Up To

July 2012:  MVM: My Virtual Model Update Post

Louise Guay: What I Am Up To

February 18, 2010 1 comment

Louise Guay

Louise Guay, founder of My Virtual Model and now consultant on Virtual Identity and Women Economy

Elaine was kind enough to invite me in her blog to make an update about MVM, myself and what I am up to. Thank you Elaine.


MVM was closed last November. It has reopened in January and Gregory, my ex-colleague, is describing his new challenge in the next post. Gregory has been at my side from the beginning, knows the vision and product inside out, and I have total confidence he will bring in a fun and useful product to women, and men as well: Quick3D as a solution to transform a clothing picture into a tryable item.

Outside MVM

As the founder of MVM, I decided to work on what has been my vision since the inception of the company: the Virtual Identity and the Women Economy. From now on, I am doing it outside of MVM. My sixth sense tells me that MVM’s road and mine might meet again in the future.

A Retailer for FitsMe?

As a consultant, I am advising FitsMe, an Estonian company which created a robot working as a visual sizing tool. The robot can take scanner data or any user measurement input, and shapes itself accordingly. We are looking for a retailer to test the proof of concept in the US. FitsMe made a first test run with a European retailer and it was a great success. Less return, more sales, and more trust for users. If there’s a US retailer interested, please contact us!!

Responsive City, Augmented Reality and Neogeography

Extending the Virtual Identity from fashion to environment design and architecture.

I am also working as the expert on Virtual Identity in MIT’s “Responsive City” project. Boston, Sao Paolo, Helsinki, Tokyo, Sydney and Montreal are now part of it.

The project I am leading in Montreal is the “Urban Legend/BIXIWIKI”. It is a social innovation initiative. To renew cities by local community approach, local search economy and geolocalized proximity advertisement (an extension of Virtual Identity) is a true post-recession and economic recovery effort. It is a very tangible and concrete trend.

Of course, what really counts in a town is people, where they are gathering, places they like and experiences they share in these places. To allow citizens to express what they really like, to show the spots they go to with their friends on interactive wiki maps, is to give back cities to their citizens. Urban planners need this type of feedback in order to better plan new city features, People know how to use their imagination and power to create personal maps and like neogeographers, to design their own town.

Using Google’s or other collaborative maps and strolling in Montreal with their Bixi bikes (a new local self-served bike rental service with GPS-mounted chips) people are expressing their social and citizen attitude with an innovative and communicative sense. Digital natives will participate to the project through their virtual world games, interfacing the virtual and the real. We hope that they will be eager to test some augmented reality apps on their mobiles.

The “Urban Legend/BIXIWIKI” is just the beginning, a proof of concept. With Google’s collaborative maps, users will tag their favorite places, comment and share them. Local merchants will be encouraged to claim their registration on Google Yellow Pages, now an integral part of Google Maps. A major player in hair products will ask their hairdressers to claim their own registration page. Using a multiplatform approach, they will offer services to users through geolocalized proximity advertisement. Merchants can easily offer rebates and mobile online coupons. As a matter of facts, they will be subsidizing Bixi rental fees at the same time. A very interesting economic model!

We are planning to deliver a website, mobile applications and games. As there are many events in Montreal during the summer, festivals and other event organizers will join us to offer these services to tourists. Once it works, it will extend to car sharing services, pedestrians and anybody interested in co-designing their neighborhood.

Future of Fashion, Luxury and Virtuality

Luxury groups in Asia are also eager to use virtual identity to make their clients’ life better. I expand my vision of Virtual Identity and Women Economy in some projects in China. Virtual trips can be great attractions in stores or online. Using interactive wiki maps as platforms to distant cities and your body as interface is a cool way to travel (walking in cities is a contemporary art form, as someone said…)

Louise Guay, February 2010

Next Post: Gregory Saumier-Finch, General Manager, My Virtual Model

FRI Student Interns Take Manhattan: Day Three!

February 15, 2010 Leave a comment

In front of the Macy's "Theater" Window

Since the FRI interns had a long and grueling day the previous day, we got a later start on Friday.  No one seemed to be in a big hurry to finish up breakfast, served in the sun-drenched family room (a definite advantage in wintery New York).  Nevertheless, we finally got ourselves loaded into the car for our hour-long drive into the City.

Read the rest of their tale here…

FRI Student Interns Take Manhattan! Days 1 and 2

February 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Missy and Britt, experienced commuters

Our student interns, Brittany and Melissa, arrived at Poughkeepsie station via Amtrak on Wednesday, February 10th for a four-day experiential.  Britt and Missy are students at Buffalo State University, interning with Fashion Research Institute.  They’ve been working with us since their Fashion CAD course in Spring 2009.  Their professor, Elaine Polvinen, has been instrumental in helping Britt and Missy get the days off from their regular classes to come to New York City and have the opportunity for first-hand apparel industry exposure.

Get the rest of the story, here…

FRI’s Virtual Fashion Interns from Buffalo State

February 10, 2010 1 comment

FRI’s Student Interns, New York City, and Fashion Week


Head over to the Fashion Research Institute’s Shengri La blog [by clicking the link above] and read Shenlei Winkler’s post about hosting two Buffalo State College virtual fashion interns. The students are preparing their real/virtual collections for the Runway 3.0 event May 1st in Buffalo, NY.

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