Feet to get the 3D treatment - Embedded.com

Feet to get the 3D treatment

LONDON — No longer will it be a case of slipping a child's foot in to a vice-like contraption when checking you foot size for new 'back-to-school' shoes as technology is preparing to provide a helping hand. Clarks Shoes is preparing to install 3D foot gauges in a number of its shops following the award of a �£4.6million contract to QinetiQ.

The foot gauge, which uses six 3D camera systems, will be installed in 50 Clarks stores this month and the company then intends to install foot gauges in all of its U.K. and Ireland shops during the next eighteen months.

The 3D foot gauge, already trialled in two Clarks stores, will be used to measure children’s feet quickly and accurately, providing detailed length, girth and shape data and helping to ensure the best fit possible.

The foot gauge is based on 3D optical ranging technology developed and patented by QinetiQ which has its origins in work done for the Ministry of Defence on the detection of unexploded ordnance.

QinetiQ’s contract includes the development, assessment, manufacture and supply of the 3D foot gauges. A manufacturing sub-contract has been placed with electronics manufacturer, Plexus.

The recorded 3D data will also enable trend analysis, assisting future footwear design and improving stock control and the efficiency of in-store service. So hopefully having spent half an hour deciding on style and color the assistant is less likely to come back from the stock room fully of 'out-of-stock' apologies.

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