Students master the latest body-scanning technology used in the industry

It’s no secret that size and fit vary widely across—and sometimes even within—brands. Retailers say sizing is the main reason for clothing returns, and manufacturers are concerned about the time and expense of shipping product around the globe, only to have it returned for poor fit. Now the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology is preparing students to work with new technology that makes the process more precise.
The students are learning on a state-of-the-art 3D body scanner, donated by [TC]2, a body measurement and visualization technology company. To get scanned, a person enters a private space the size of a changing room and strips down to their underwear. In seconds, sensors capture up to 400 data points across the body, taking thousands of measurements. The scanner generates a 3D digital image of the person, which can be used to analyze body shapes and develop made-to-measure clothing and other products. It’s light years beyond the traditional dress form or the tailor with his tape. Some retailers have already started using this new tool in their brick-and-mortar stores.


The iStyling software creates an avatar that reflects the customer’s shape and coloring for virtual assessment of garment fit and hue.


The scanner works with accompanying iStyling software, which takes the information from the scan and develops an avatar that the customer can use to try on garments virtually. FIT is the only institution of higher education that has this software.

Steven Frumkin, dean of the Baker School of Business and Technology, says students who train on the equipment and software have a competitive edge. “It gives us an excellent connection to industry,” he says. Fashion Design, Technical Design, Production Management, and Textile Development and Marketing students are now working with it. The iStyling avatar can also be used for color styling with makeup and accessories, so the technology has applications across more majors, such as Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing.

Frumkin is pleased that the students have the opportunity to learn this new technology. It’s changing the industry by addressing the formidable sizing dilemma, he says. “It takes the guesswork out.”

Featured photo: Manufacturers often produce garments in multiple countries, and they tend to rely on fit models from those countries, leading to discrepancies in sizing. With the 3D body scanner, a digital model can be sent electronically worldwide, creating more consistent sizing across the brand.