Until now, the ZOZOFIT app and the ZOZOSUIT have been intricately linked, where you needed to utilize the suit in order to be able to be scanned by ZOZOFIT’s body measurement technology. But, even when ZOZOFIT was originally in development, our tech development team in New Zealand was already theorizing about what it would be like to be able to enjoy all the scanning capabilities of the ZOZOFIT app, but without having to rely on the suit or any additional hardware.
“Even when we were developing the suit version, every now and then would crop up in discussions between us that, ‘could we do this without a suit?,’” said Jim Gardner, Platform SDK Team Lead at ZOZO New Zealand.
This month, ZOZOFIT is excited to launch our subscription-based service, which makes it even easier and more convenient to use our 3D body scanning technology to get accurate body measurements right to your phone in minutes. Users can choose to select a monthly subscription or a three-month subscription, depending on your commitment to your fitness transformation (all new subscribers are provided a seven-day free trial, too).
With the subscription model, anyone will be able to use the ZOZOFIT app without purchasing a ZOZOSUIT first. All they will need is access to their iPhone’s front-facing camera as well as tight-fitting clothing (to ensure precise measurements). These changes make the ZOZOFIT app and its technology much more accessible to all people.
“The challenge with the suit is the delay between the moment of purchase and receiving it, and being able to start using it after you put it on,” said Francois Goffinet, Chief Information Officer at ZOZO New Zealand and Engineering Manager for ZOZOFIT.
Moving toward an equipment-free scanning experience seemed like the obvious choice so that ZOZOFIT could be utilized by our community immediately.
The beginning of equipment-free scanning technology
The idea for this new phase of technology first came up during professional development days for the ZOZOFIT team where they have the opportunity to test and explore new ideas that aren’t necessarily part of the business roadmap.
This exciting new frontier for ZOZOFIT has been years in the making and taken incremental steps to make happen.
During one of these two-day professional development sessions, Gardner used his time to begin work on the equipment-free technology. He developed a prototype in November 2022 to explore the possibilities of ZOZOFIT’s technology, and the team at ZOZO New Zealand used deep-learning technology to further explore the possibilities of being able to scan without the ZOZOSUIT.
Prior to the new tech development, the ZOZOFIT app only used the fiducial dot pattern on the ZOZOSUIT to help it create a 3D mesh of your body—allowing the app to mark specific reference points for easy measurement calculation.
Without the ZOZOSUIT, the concept and the algorithm are nearly the same, but they do not need to rely on the use of dots to build its 3D mesh.
“Since the onset of ZOZOSUIT, we were usually technology based on the dots, but we were adding layers on top of that, and I think the first milestone toward equipment-free technology was the silhouettes,” said Goffinet.
The silhouettes helped improve the accuracy of the ZOZOSUIT by a big margin.
“This was probably the first cornerstone of the [equipment-free] technology because we had a very strong relationship between the shape of the people and the 3D mesh,” Goffinet said. “In my opinion, the second milestone was when we decided to launch the ZOZOFIT. We wanted to make the positioning much simpler and much faster.
“We started using deep learning technology to find the skeleton of the person in the image and use that skeleton to position the person.”
Through this process, the team realized that the fiducials (meaning the pattern of the ZOZOSUIT) were not necessary in order to take accurate measurements. This opened the ZOZOFIT team to a wide range of possibilities beyond the ZOZOSUIT.
Developing the equipment-free experience for the ZOZOFIT community
With the equipment-free experience, ZOZOFIT will be ready for its users anytime. This is a huge improvement when considering the burden of use. Previously, users would have to order and wait for the suit, then prepare for the scanning process. Now, they will be able to scan anytime, anywhere.
And — an added bonus — new users are able to try ZOZOFIT for free using the 7-day free trial without having to worry about the suit.
One of the biggest concerns for the ZOZOFIT development team was ensuring that they would not sacrifice quality or accuracy to remove the suit from the 3D body measurement equation. This was a major concern, especially since users rely on having accurate data about their body to work toward their fitness goals.
“We should provide a great service and so, we initially saw different levels of accuracy. The gold standard is the ZOZOSUIT, and maybe this is too big of an error, but the sweet spot will be over here, and that was from day one when we were starting suit-free scanning: what is the target accuracy that we can achieve?,” Goffinet discussed.
The team says there is a massive agreement between the engineering and business sides to ensure the accuracy of the product.
“We really wanted to make sure that we were continuously improving during the development process of the ZOZOFIT app after we launched in 2022,” explained Duncan Eason, Senior Algorithm Developer/Technical Lead at ZOZO New Zealand. “We put in place some really good frameworks and found tools that we all were able to use, so that right from the beginning, we could piggyback off of the existing technology to create the suitless scanning experience, which helped a lot as well.”
During the development phase, the team used previously collected data of people wearing the ZOZOSUIT. To check their accuracy and improve their reading they compared the readings with fiducials against their new readings which didn’t use them. This allowed them the ability to test the equipment-free technology as it was developed.
“We were able to rely on a massive amount of data from people wearing the ZOZOSUIT too, so we could use that data anyway to test against immediately. That was beneficial because we didn’t have to start from scratch,” added Gardner.
What’s next for ZOZOFIT?
ZOZOFIT has officially released its equipment-free version of the app as of last week, but the development team is already looking at ways to improve on the scanning technology and other features in the future.
Recent advancements in technology have made this equipment-free experience possible, but there is always more possibility on the horizon, especially as smart phones become more high-tech than they were even five years ago.
No matter the case, ZOZOFIT will continue its dedication towards innovation, providing accurate 3D body measurements as well as other intuitive data and features for all fitness enthusiasts, whether you’re a lifer or a newbie to the world of wellness.