At the beginning of December last year XpertFit, the first contact-less body measurement technology for armor and uniforms, started an exclusive launch of Safariland (The Safariland Group) and Flying Cross (Fechheimer Brothers) digital platforms.
Safariland is specialized in the production and distribution of security products, and Flying Cross in uniforms. Both organizations partnered with 3DLOOK, the world leader in AI body measurement, to create XpertFit.
Easier production of ballistic vests during Covid-19 restrictions
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, production of body armor and protective uniforms has been challenging. By creating a technology that favours the individualization of uniforms and armor; Safariland, FlyingCross and 3DLOOK bet on an inclusive tool set that adjusts to all body types; leaving aside a standard one-size-fits-all model.
By having uniforms that fit perfectly to the body of the agents, the comfort in their everyday work increases.
“The proper fit of armor and uniforms is essential to duty and safety personnel, and our collaboration with 3DLook has allowed us to revolutionize the process,” says Brad Williams, president of Safariland. “Convenience and accuracy of measurements is a growing concern. XpertFit will allow the reflection of this urgency and efficiency to change the procurement process to save time and increase consumer confidence.”
How to design your contact-less custom armor in XpertFit?
The steps to find your armor measurements are fairly straightforward. To find out the type of armor or uniform the person requires, the user can employ a phone-enabled device. The process is automatic, individual, and without contact. The application allows you to choose between several options for the style and type of body armor and uniforms, including adjustments for height and physical dimensions.
Then, using front and profile photos of the user, the platform’s algorithm will determine the recommended measurements for a Safariland armor or a Flying Cross uniform, depending on what the user needs.
Gerrad Allison, Military & LE Sales Consultant, from 3DLOOK, explained the advantages of using this app, regarding easy functioning and time saving:
“There is no need to calculate any measurement as XpertFit does all the calculations on the back-end. The customer just needs to take two photos on a mobile device, and from there the core tech behind XpertFit recreates their exact 3D model, extracts the parameters and calculates the required size in 30 seconds”, Allison indicated. When asked about Safariland and how easy was for users to access the app.” Allison added; “For Safariland, the product is really easy to use. End-users can order body armor of an appropriate size in just a few clicks. There’s no need for manual measurements or additional fittings.”
What is the motivation behind this initiative?
When asked about the principal motivations and aspirations that originated XpertFit, Allison has it clear:
“The main motivation was to ease the pain of the measuring process. By automating the measuring process and removing the human element, we can ease the pain of the measurement process. COVID-19 helped many manufacturers see the value in mobile measuring, but we were well on our way before COVID.”
The idea of achieving a contact-less tailoring system for body armor, Allison continues:
“After 14+ years in the armor business and having measured thousands of first responders for body armor, I determined there had to be a better way. The goal was to automate the measurement process, eliminate error, and simplify the logistics associated with measuring.”
James Duncan, VP/GM Armor from Safariland, also indicates some of the key reasons that lead to the development of XpertFit:
“Xpert Fit is perfectly timed with the pandemic when our customers look to us for a contactless way to size armor. It also provides customers with a consistent sizing methodology that takes the potential for human error out of the process and focuses on comfort while providing appropriate coverage and protection. Additionally, it allows our customers to size on “their time” without bringing officers in from their duties and costing the department time and resources that keep officers on the street. It also allows our reseller’s sales and customer service teams more time to focus on a better customer experience than on strictly sizing armor.”
Not only XpertFit is a more secure design method but also is more specific with measurements. This will help the customers to find their vest fast and in a safe way. And due to Covid-19, XpertFit is more necessary than ever, as it satisfies customer’s needs while keeping them safe.
What makes XpertFit revolutionary?
XpertFit could be easily described as revolutionary. It challenges the traditional way of taking measurements, as Allison explains.
XpertFit absolutely changes how measurements are taken. The measuring process has always been a pain point. Traditionally, a rep would travel to a customer and measure a group. In most cases, a few people would miss the event, and the rep would have to return to measure. It is a challenge to train multiple reps to measure consistently and accurately day to day and week to week”.
Duncan also adds, when asked about the game-changing benefits that XpertFit provides:
“It allows the customer to be sized on their time. Historically, officers have had a window of time at the department to be sized, which often conflicts with shifts, vacations, and other absences. It can also be affected by a police department’s normal tempo, such as call-outs for special units. XpertFit accommodates everyone’s schedule by allowing them to conveniently size themselves utilizing the state-of-the-art app that will ensure a comfortable and consistent fit with the right amount of coverage. It’s also touch-free, which affords officers an excellent comfort level in terms of someone having to go hands-on, not to mention during a pandemic.”
Out with old, in with the new
Allison also provides an explanation on the changes perceived between XpertFit versus the old way of sizing, stressing two ways in which this new program has automated the measurement process:
“First, XpertFit allows manufacturers and/or dealers to acquire their end user’s body measurements without having to physically be with the end-user. Second, XpertFit allows the user to manage “measuring events”. With XpertFit, one can set up a measuring event with an end-user (i.e. Police Department), schedule the time, assign sales reps, preload the end-users to be measured, and track progress in real-time.”
But, what are the explicit effects for Safariland? Alongside Flying Cross and 3DLOOK, Safariland was one of the impulsors of XpertFit and its technology. When asked about this, Duncan indicates:
“It won’t change Safariland as much as keep us evolving as the leader in life-saving products. We have a history of over 50 years of innovation across a broad portfolio of products that have led the industry in technology and innovation. This is a continuation of that journey.”
This meaning, the objectives and character of the company won’t be affected. Development has been an important value of Safariland, and it will continue to be this way.
The main challenges in developing this contact-less technology
“The main challenge was to create a single point of data entry between two companies with differences in the types of garment (uniforms and body armor), and differences within algorithms,” Allison explains.
Safariland designs and distributes body armor, whereas Fechheimer (Flying Cross) produces uniforms. 3DLOOK had to overcome this challenge of working with diverse tailoring industries. The solution: designing an algorithm that could easily combine two types of products into one single app. But, how much time did the development of XpertFit took? As Alison indicates;
“3DLOOK’s proprietary mobile body scanning core tech, which has been in development for almost 5 years, was used as a basis. The body armor recommendation algorithm was developed in less than a month.”
XpertFit will have Impact on the whole armor and uniform industry
As Allison explains: “This technology will totally change the armor and uniform industries and open the door for new and innovative ways to serve customers. Nearly all aspects of the industry will be impacted. Designers will now have real-time customer data to better understand customer body types and trends, inventory will be driven by actual customer data, and manufacturing will have the ability to streamline the measurement to the production process. All of these benefits will save companies time and money, and drastically improve the customer experience.”
Social changes. Contact-less tailored vests for women.
The production of female adapted body armor is one of the more interesting concerns. When asked whether XpertFit could support the presence of women in the military and police corps, providing the proper uniforms and body armor that fit their build., Allison explained:
“XpertFit will make it easier to consistently and accurately measure females in Law Enforcement and Military. The data collected by scanning will help manufactures of body armor and uniforms design better-fitting armor and uniforms for females. Historically, females have been underrepresented in body armor and public safety design. XpertFit will give designers and manufacturers the tools they need to provide females proper fitting equipment.”
By providing women with the proper materials, 3DLOOK shows the effects that XpertFit will have on gender equality.
Therefore, not only is XpertFit a revolutionary tool in economic production and technology development; but also on social everyday issues.