We have all been there before-you are super stoked that the new ski jacket and pants you ordered online have arrived, only to try them on and find out they don't fit properly. Now you have to go through the pain and hassle of sending them back and ordering a new size. The German startup UPcload is looking to eliminate the need for clothing returns and has partnered with The North Face to test their technology.
Using your computer's webcam, UPcload can measure a whole raft of your individual body measurements in just a few minutes. You will be given feedback on your exact body dimensions such as arm length, chest circumference, height, neck size, as well as many other details.
The UPcload webcam measurement technology works by using a simple CD for standard size calibration. Wearing tight clothing, you stand in front of your webcam and pose in various positions holding the CD. A simple user interface will guide you through the whole measurement process.
Once complete, you will have your own personal UPcload ID that stores all of your measurements. This ID can then be used to order the perfect size apparel from any website that integrates the UPcload technology.
In theory, this webcam measurement technology sounds great, but I am curious how it will work in practice. For example, what if I want to order a larger size hardshell so I can wear multiple layers underneath? Which body dimension will carry the most weight when choosing a size? I am normally a classic size Medium in most outdoor apparel but nothing usually fits my long arms. Would the UPcload ID suggest I order a Large that will then be too big?
I am hoping that many of the outdoor apparel companies start using UPcload or similar measurement technology, not only to ensure you as a consumer order the right size, but to receive thousands of data points on the vast variety of body dimension combinations out there. More outdoor companies should offer standard sizes with say arm length and leg length variations, similar to what First Ascent is currently trying to do.
If you want to test out the UPload webcam measurement technology together with The North Face, head on over to the UPcload website and sign up for the Beta Test. I have registered and am excited to see how well the technology works. I will let you know what I think upon completion and if you try it as well, let us know!