This App Could Change The Way You Shop Online

By Yogendra Kalavalapalli
Mint, New Delhi.


It gives you a virtual impression of how a shirt fits your body. Complete with the folds and the creases, Trupik Connect, an app developed by Sunnyvale, California-based Trupik Inc. virtually drapes a piece of clothing on one’s body, giving users a trial room-like experience of how a garment looks on them.

The app uses advanced 3D body mapping technology factoring in elements such as gravity, friction between body and fabric, and repulsion between fabric and fabric, to present what the founders describe as a virtual physical store experience.

Most virtual dressing rooms of e-commerce sites superimpose a piece of clothing rather than fit it over a person’s body.

“That’s like standing in front of a mirror, and holding a piece of cloth over your body. You won’t know the exact fit,” Shivani Pulimamidi, chief marketing officer of Trupik, said.

Customers have to walk into dedicated kiosks set up at retail outlets Trupik has partnered with to get a 3D scan of themselves. A Kinnect device with a 3D camera captures the three-dimensional scan of a body, gathering as many as 100,000 data points. Users are not charged for the body scan that takes about 30 seconds.

They can also submit their measurements online to Trupik that then generates images of how a person would look in different sizes.

Customers can then use the digital persona to ‘try on’ different clothes online. Trupik is starting off with shirts but, over time, will use the technology to let users check out accessories, jewelery, women’s clothing, footwear, and even hairstyles.

It has tied up with four retail brands–Raymond, Indian Terrain, Allen Solly and Wills Lifestyle–and expects to get 10 more brands on board in a couple of months, Sridhar Tirumala, chief executive officer of Trupik, said.

Trupik’s kiosks are available at select outlets of these brands. Once the digital persona is made, customers can shop from the catalogues of these brands online.

There are no plans as yet on tying up with e-commerce firms. “Right now the most important thing is take physical stores and put virtual experience in the physical stores,” Tirumala said. “Our biggest value proposition comes when you are able to create a new experience for the consumers when you are walking into a physical store.”

Seed-funded by a group of Hyderabad-based investors who have settled in Los Angeles, Trupik has two business models. One, it licenses its technology to a brand. Or it takes a cut on every transaction made through its platform.

Three of the four co-founders are graduates of Indian Institutes of Technology, while the fourth, David Harmon, holds a doctorate from the Columbia University. Harmon specializes in physical stimulation and has worked on special effects on films such as Hobbit and Tangled. Tirumala is an expert in algorithms and modelling, while the other two founders, Aravind Inumpudi and Vikranth Katpally specialize in optmization tools and hardware development, respectively.

The company plans to raise a venture capital round of funding, although it has not yet initiated any talks with equity investors, Tirumala said.

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