Stanford PhD & Johns Hopkins PhD Team Up To Launch PhiSix, Aim To Change The Way People Shop For Apparel Online
May 1st, 2013, San Francisco, California — Startup PhiSix announces its launch, aiming to transform the way people purchase apparel online. PhiSix, which was founded by PhDs from Stanford and Johns Hopkins, allows users to try on clothes online before purchasing, compose custom looks and styles, and ensure they always find the right fit.
Says co-founder Jon Su, “We started developing PhiSix because we really weren’t satisfied with the process of buying clothes online. All the solutions we saw were limited at best, and we wanted to develop a Hollywood-grade 3D ‘look’ and ‘fit’ solution for online apparel. People are 3D, so why not online apparel shopping?”
PhiSix was co-founded by Stanford PhD Jon Su and Johns Hopkins PhD Jatin Chhugani. The two started working on the idea about a year ago, when they both felt the pain of shopping for clothes online and figured that their expertise in computational geometry and physical simulation could be used to make an impact. The two realized that millions of shoppers experience similar problems when shopping for apparel online.
According to Jatin, “We really felt we were right team to solve this because our backgrounds approach this problem from two different angles. Jon’s PhD thesis at Stanford dealt with physics-based animation and cloth simulation, and the physics engine he helped write now drives the effects of several of the major Hollywood studios. With myself, my PhD was in Computer Science, and I approached this from the angle of interactive computer graphics, virtual reality, computational geometry and high-performance computation.”
Other companies have tried tackling this problem before but none have made significant inroads, primarily because of the high bar for visual quality and the lack of personalization from a consumer’s perspective. From the retailers’ viewpoint, onboarding large amounts of data, scalable operations and integration into existing e-commerce platforms have always been the huge challenges.
PhiSix solves all these problems, and for the first time, provides an end-to-end solution that is comprehensive, easy-to-integrate and scalable. For a consumer, getting their body into the application is as simple as entering 5 measurements, snapping a picture of their favorite jeans with their smartphone, or visiting their local mall with a body scanning booth. For a retailer, onboarding their inventory can be done with a single photo of the front and back of each garment, and then beautiful interactive 3D visuals of their garments can be integrated into their site with a single line of code. No CAD files, tech packs, special viewers, complicated questionnaires, or long lines at the mall.
PhiSix provides the best-in-class solutions for the online apparel retail industry, including a photo-realistic, interactive 3-D virtual fitting room, robust sizing/fit recommendation engine and simulated catwalk videos all based on a high-fidelity, physically-accurate cloth simulation system. According to Jon and Jatin, the apparel e-commerce industry now has the tools to make the Size Selector and Size Chart seen on most product pages a relic of the past. “Our goal is to take online apparel shopping above and beyond the brick-and-mortar store in terms of consumer experience”, say Jon.
With PhiSix, customers have three options when using the service. The first is they can add in dimensions such as their height, weight, inseam, and waist, and an avatar will be constructed. The second is an individual can take a picture of their favorite garment, laid flat, and the exact measurement of fit will be extracted as used as a reference. Lastly, for retailers with a both an online and brick-&-mortar presence, a person can visit an in-store body scanner and create their unique 3D profile.
The underlying ‘secret sauce’ powering PhiSix’s technology is the ability to synthesize an accurate 3D model of a garment from just 2 flat images, so all a retailer or manufacturer has to do is send in photos of their clothes to use this service. This unique feature allows the company to handle large inventories in a rapid, cost effective, all-digital manner. At this point over 10,000 garments have been digitized and over 6000 user avatars have been created. The company has worked with clients including Tie Society, Le Tote, and multiple large international e-commerce retailers. Jake Kuczeruk, CMO of Tie Society, says “PhiSix is poised to redefine the apparel e-commerce experience with the launch of their revolutionary new virtual fitting technology”. With its ability to power top line growth while also driving down returns and boosting profitability, PhiSix’s business model involves taking a percentage of each sale.
The co-founders have partnered with Mihir Naware, a Kellogg MBA who has over 7 years of experience in R&D and Strategy Consulting. According to Mihir, “With US online retail sales estimated to hit $370 Billion by 2017, we believe there is an enormous opportunity at hand. In a technology sense, apparel e-commerce is really still in its infancy, and we believe PhiSix will change the way people shop online.”
PhiSix is headquartered in San Francisco Bay Area, California and was co-founded by Jon Su and Jatin Chhugani. Prior to founding PhiSix, Jon received his PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University where he worked under Academy Award-winning Prof. Ron Fedkiw. Co-founder Jatin Chhugani has 10+ years of experience in interactive computer graphics, virtual reality, computational geometry and high-performance computation, and he has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University.
PhiSix: Changing the way people shop online. Learn more at: www.phisix.co
Phisix is a Bay Area startup focused on developing 3-D visualization and simulation technologies to drive the growth of the online apparel retail industry. The company provides the best-in-class solutions for the online apparel retail industry, including a 3-D virtual fitting room, robust sizing/fit recommendation engine, digital garment technologies and a high-fidelity, physically-accurate cloth simulation system that runs 100x the speed of competitive solutions. PhiSix was co-founded by Jon Su and Jatin Chhugani, and brings together research expertise in a number of fields spanning computational geometry, virtual reality, physical simulation and parallel computing.
Jon Su, Founder and CEO