StretchSense Behind “Disappearable” ZOZOSUIT Smart Garment
New Zealand-built technology enabling an entirely new type of wearable
AUCKLAND, NOVEMBER 22, 2017 — StretchSense Ltd., New Zealand-based manufacturer of wearable sensing systems, today is proud to see the release of ZOZOSUIT by its client and investor Start Today Co., Ltd., owner of Japan’s largest online fashion retailer. The first consumer-ready wearable product built with StretchSense’s unique sensor technology, the ZOZOSUIT was developed in close collaboration between the two companies and provides precise measurement of body shape to solve the problem of fit when buying clothes online.
StretchSense’s mission is to go beyond wearables and towards “disappearables” — truly smart garments with unobtrusive sensors and electronics that feel invisible to the wearer. The ZOZOSUIT is a realization of that vision, blurring the line between clothing and technology with lightweight sensing elements, flexible cabling and miniaturized electronics all fully integrated into a skin-tight garment.
Ben O’Brien, StretchSense co-founder and CEO, says: “We’ve been talking about disappearables for years now — clothing where it’s not clear where the garment ends and the sensors start. Today I am proud to see the launch of a true disappearable from Start Today. It’s the most ambitious thing we’ve ever done.”
Made with over 150 integrated capacitive stretch sensors, the full-body smart garment conforms to the wearer and delivers precise data on body shape and size. Start Today’s goal for the ZOZOSUIT is to ensure online clothing shoppers get a guaranteed fit with their purchases, significantly improving customer satisfaction while reducing the number of returns the retailer has to process.
Shin Jeong Park, StretchSense Marketing Director, says: “The ability to measure body size is just one of the applications possible with a smart sensing body suit. Stretch sensors are a great tool to capture information about how people move in the world; from that information you can draw conclusions about motion, pose and health. The data from our sensing technology is helping to push the boundaries of human performance.”
StretchSense’s journey began over a decade ago in the Biomimetics Lab of the University of Auckland’s Bioengineering Institute. The company incorporated in 2012 as a spin-out from the university and continued to develop its stretch sensor technology. StretchSense attracted the attention of Start Today in December 2015, ultimately leading to series A investment in June of 2016, and has grown to serve over 400 customers in 28 countries.
StretchSense manufactures capacitive sensing systems that provide real-time data on human body motion. Start Today owns ZOZOSUIT — Japan’s largest online retailer of apparel and accessories — and Japan’s largest fashion co-ordination app: wear.jp.
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Shin Jeong Park