The future of retail is customized
Since 2016, Dassault Systèmes’ FashionLab incubator has been working with the Innovation Lab of ECCO to develop the first data-driven, customized shoe experience. Virtual technologies open up possibilities for extending personalization and customization to other sectors of commerce.
“Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants, so long as it is black,” Henry Ford famously said in 1908 when he launched the Model T, the world’s first mass-produced car. For more than a century, personalization and mass production seemed incompatible. Everything has changed, and “mass customization” is no longer an oxymoron. In collaboration with Dassault Systèmes, Danish shoe manufacturer ECCO has created an exclusive data-driven shoe-customization service called QUANT-U (quantified you). The first consumer trials occurred simultaneously at Le Bon Marché in Paris and at the Isetan department store in Tokyo early in 2019, providing consumers a glimpse into the future of retail.
The shoes marketed by ECCO were presented as part of the Geek mais Chic, le shopping du troisième millénaire (Geek but Chic: Third millennia shopping) exhibition, an event dedicated to digital innovation and technological sensory experiments, organized in partnership with leading international brands in the luxury sector. QUANT-U was integrated with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to create an automated, data-driven design customization service that is deployed on the cloud and capable of generating infinite 3D models.
Customization is based on the 3D printing of customized midsole inserts. The midsole is a key functional component of a shoe that determines its comfort and performance. Midsoles are printed in high quality silicone using a process that allows the material to perform exceptionally well, giving 3D comfort through optimization of cushioning, stability, fit and performance of footwear.
These soles are manufactured on demand, beginning with the real-time capturing of an individual’s foot contours and walking data. A learning algorithm analyzes each foot’s data to develop its digital twin using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Automatic learning and structural simulations generate a customized digital configuration. The structure and performance of each unique midsole is tested before it is approved and optimized for localized 3D printing, offering the consumer a unique experience of comfort and individualized performance.
This experience continues from an in-store to digital experience through the QUANT-U consumer portal. Here consumers will soon have access to their bio-mechanical data and the ability to reorder customized footwear online, without the need to recapture their data