Nike has been experimenting heavily with augmented reality for a few years now, and the company is continuing to work on new experiences powered by the technology. The sportswear giant is now introducing Nike Fit, a feature that uses a combination of computer vision, scientific data, artificial intelligence and recommendation algorithms to scan your feet and find the right shoe fit for you. And you can do it all in augmented reality, using the Nike app on your smartphone. Nike says that, according to industry research, over 60 percent of people wear the wrong size shoes. With Nike Fit, the company is hoping to solve that problem.
The AR experience itself is fairly simple: You open up the Nike app, go to a product page and, next to where there's usually a menu that lets you pick the size of your shoes, you'll see a new option to measure your feet. From there, the camera will pop up and you'll be asked to stand next to a wall and point your smartphone at your feet, which will prompt a view that uses two AR circles to level your phone. Once the feature recognizes your feet and your physical environment, it starts scanning your feet and then tells you your ideal shoe size for Nike footwear. The entire process takes less than a minute.
For example, you can get a "You are a 10.5" in this Air Max sneaker, giving you more information about why, like "80 percent of people with similar feet to you purchased this size" or "This shoe runs slightly small." Nike Fit will measure your feet virtually down to the millimeter size, and it can tell you if your right foot is larger than your left one, or vice versa. The company says that, based on early testing, it is quite confident on the technology, so much so that it plans to make it a core feature of its Nike app -- it's not just an experiment or a marketing move.
Of course, once you've used the AR tools to measure your feet, that information will be saved in your Nike profile, which means you don't have to do it every time you're trying to buy a shoe. And if you go to a retail stores, associates will know which sizes are best for you on various models by simply scanning a QR code from the Nike app. As someone who wears different sizes in Air Max and Epic Reacts, because the latter tend to be narrower and run smaller, Nike Fit suggested my right fit was between 10 and 11 for all its products -- and that'll come in handy the next time I'm buying a pair.
Nike says this should also make it easier for parents, since they can just measure their kids' feet right at home, saving them a trip to the store and letting them easily place orders on line. And parents can use Nike Fit every few months, as their kids' feet grow in size. If you do go to a Nike store, associates there will have their own Nike Fit experience, which lets them use their smartphone instead of the traditional Brannock Device to get your exact shoe size. Once they have that and your Nike profile, they can scan any shoe box and the system will tell them what's the best size for you in any particular model.
You'll have a chance to try Nike Fit for yourself in July, when the company is expected to roll out these features to its app. At launch, it'll be available in the US only, but Nike says it plans to bring it to Europe later this summer.