How Wiivv Delivers Custom Footwear via Your Smartphone
A Closer Look at a Company That’s Using 3D Technology to Bring Custom Footwear to Anyone with a Smartphone
We’ve been very busy in the lab, testing copiers, printers, scanners—and 3D printers! In an effort to expand our testing services, Pete Emory, Keypoint Intelligence’s Director of Research and Lab Services for the US and Asia, and the rest of our 3D tech team have not only been getting their hands on some 3D printers to test but they’ve also been attending 3D print events and tradeshows. At the latest Inside 3D Printing New York show in March, the team got a chance to meet Louis-Victor Jadavji, Co-Founder of Wiivv. We were intrigued by what Wiivv is doing in the 3D print realm—shoes and insoles—and thought it would be a great idea to get firsthand experience ourselves.
How It Works
We first downloaded the Wiivv app from the app store and completed the quick registration, then it was time to design our custom Wiivv insoles by selecting the outer shell color from a set of six and choosing a top layer design. Once we were happy with the look of the insoles, we took our measurements—this is where the technology gets really cool. The app uses the smartphone’s camera to measure angles and curves in your feet by taking a few different pictures from the top and the side. What’s great about the app is that you don’t need another person to help take the side view pictures of your feet: All you do is lay the phone up against a wall, place your feet in the designated area outlined by the app, and the camera will snap the photo using a built-in timer. Once all of our pictures were taken, it was time to check out and wait for our insoles to arrive, which less than seven days.
We spoke with Jadavi to find out more behind this innovative product. He shared with us that the team’s first hurdle was coming up with a better 3D capture method for taking measurements. They knew they needed something that was mobile and something simple. “3D capture methods are frustrating to use and we didn’t see consumers using that, so we developed our own capture method, which is within 2 mm of accuracy for every angle of the foot compared to what that of a laser scanner deliver,” he said.
The capture technology is able to gather 200 points off your arch. “Through a ton of data, we were able to train these algorithms to detect all the different dimensions and curves of the foot,” Jadavi said. With the arch being one of the most important parts of the insole, it is custom printed using the 3D Systems sPro 60 HD-HS machines in their manufacturing facility in San Diego, California.
The convenience, simplicity and the guided instructions are what makes this app so user friendly. Within just a few clicks, you can measure your feet from anywhere and have custom fit insoles or sandals at your doorstep within a week. Companies like Wiivv are bridging the gap between complicated 3D printing/scanning technology and consumers printing their very own custom printed wear/shoes.
As for the insoles, they arrived within seven days and with great packaging. The packaging had a “Quality Approved By” signature and date so you know that it was quality checked before leaving the facility. The insoles themselves look great and feel durable. The heel cups are made of hard plastic so it holds the feet in place and even came with a nice little surprise- my name engraved on the bottom of the heel cups. Krystle’s name was also printed on the top fabric part of the insoles, which made them feel even more personalized. So far, they’re very comfortable and fit perfect in my Nikes! I think I may have to buy a few more for the rest of my shoe collection.
Wiivv is a bionics company that creates custom gear using 3D-mapping technology, which is accessible to everybody from a smartphone. The organization is starting its journey by building a better foundation for every step you take with made-to-fit-you insoles and footwear. Wiivv products have been proven to improve comfort and provide relief from various foot pathologies, flat feet, high arches, pronation and supination.
You can support their live Kickstarter campaign for custom fit sandals here (ends Friday, April 21, 2017).