The innovative Veneto start-up Trya has launched an application that promises to eliminate the problem of fitting associated with online shoe purchases: Snapfeet. Aimed at businesses, as well as consumers, it revolutionizes the e-tail industry, allowing shoes to virtually be tried on, thanks to the biometric scan (3D image) of the foot.
How does it work? We ask Giorgio Raccanelli, founder of Trya, who we interviewed at the last edition of the MICAM. “It’s very easy. – he replies – You download the APP, register, take a few pictures all the way around the foot, and a 3D biometry of the foot will appear, allowing you to immediately start shopping. The application automatically compares the three dimensional image of the foot with the chosen model, showing you how it will fit, or will directly suggest the model that is most suited to your foot shape”.
It seems easy…
“When it comes to using it, it is. However, the technology behind it is quite complex. It sums up the skills we have developed over the years in the field of computer vision, thanks to the expertise of co-founder Pietro Donaggio and also of co-founder Matteo Magrin in information technology. As far as my background is concerned, the company for which I previously worked was specialized in video surveillance systems and they offered me the opportunity to do research with some important partners: the University of Padua and the University of Cambridge, where with Prof. Roberto Cipolla, expert in computer vision and robotics, and authority on 3D technology, we created a software that allowed for the development of a 3D image, thanks to its ability to recognize two dimensional images. After publishing the results, it was Prof. Cipolla who suggested that I create a start-up as a way of giving an industrial continuation to our experience”.
So, this was the start of Snapfeet?
““We arrived at it in small steps. In a first moment, we approached businesses that produced tailor made footwear: we thought our software would be ideal for this kind of task. Then, in consideration of the widespread diffusion of smartphones in Italy, we realized that this would be the better interface to use”.
In the meantime, also the business model has changed…
“From pure B2B, to proposing the use of our technology to companies, we went on to use it on their behalf, selling their shoes with our technology. We only need the shapes to develop the biometry of the shoe… the catalogue, photos, etc. all get inserted into our APP and we sell them on behalf of our customers. Now the marketplace is the first touch point: companies are no longer subject to stress, because we do everything for them”.
This covers brands and companies, but what about retail?
“Stores can also use our technology. Here’s an example: a 4.0 soccer shoe store contacted me. The concept of the store only allows a few models to be displayed in the most standard size. Thanks to the application, the customer can order the right shoe from the store and receive it as soon as it has been made to measure. This is the maximum in personalization”.
Who are your customers today?
“Mainly businesses located in Riviera del Brenta and Marches, but my partners and I are counting on soon also approaching the international market”.
Your competitors are also developing software for measuring the foot, what makes Snapfeet so different?
“Our competitors have turned to statistical technology: with them measurements are important, while for us it is 3D images. There is an added value in 3D images: for example, for children. Creating a database for adults is easy, but with a foot that is constantly growing this approach is ineffective… moreover, 3D imagery is essential for the emerging market of mass customization”.