Bandicoot Imaging Sciences, a startup founded by four former imaging scientists from Canon’s Australian research unit, CISRA, has created a technology that enables online customers to interact with fabric and other materials in a realistic way, providing a more accurate representation of products.
Their unique fabric digitalization technology offers highly textured, photorealistic 3D renders of the subject material, showing how the light plays on the material as users move their phone or mouse, giving an accurate impression of fine details such as gloss and texture.
The technology does not require significant hardware expenses; all that is needed is a DSLR camera, standard lenses, and a flash to take a series of images.
David Monaghan, managing director of Bandicoot, stated that the company's main target is online retail fashion websites, as handling returned goods is a significant expense for online retailers, with one in three items being returned. The system can showcase fashion products in a way that hasn't been possible before, especially at a low cost.
The technology offers a solution to a common complaint from customers that 'it doesn’t look like it did on the website.' The key to the 'dynamic material image technology' is a physically-based model of how light interacts with materials and a 'Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function' (BRDF) to model material appearance.
Bandicoot's dynamic material images represent the next generation of product visualization, according to the company website. Although primarily designed for fashion retail, the company believes the technology can be applied in other industries, such as automotive and furniture design.
Overall, the Bandicoot technology provides a solution to a real-world problem that online fashion retailers face. If the technology is embraced by retailers, it could significantly reduce the number of returns and increase customer satisfaction, which would be beneficial for the entire industry.