Digital | ON: TECH

Apps and gadgets that measure up

by Chiho Komoriya

A perfect fit for Uniqlo

Online retail has taken a lot of the hassle out of shopping in busy stores, but when you’re not sure of your size, it can also frustratingly result in ill-fitting pieces and returns.

To help its online shoppers, Uniqlo has released MySize Camera, a new feature on the major retailer’s app that can help work out a user’s size without the need of a measuring tape. There is the usual questionnaire asking for gender, height, weight and age, but now, if you upload two images of yourself — one from the front and the other from the side — the app will automatically calculate the measurements of 10 parts of your body, including waist, hip and chest. These measurements are then used to estimate an appropriate Uniqlo size, which you can register with the online store when you shop.

The app’s MySize Assist function is also useful if you don’t want to go through the measuring process. While looking at an item, you can select preferences from various choices, such as stomach and hip shape and preferred looseness, and it will suggest sizes based on data from similar users.

Currently MySize Camera and MySize Assist is only available in Japan and for iOS. It can’t replace the experience of going to a store to see if an item suits you, but it’s great for buying basics that you don’t particularly want to spend time on trying on.

www.uniqlo.com/jp/app (Japanese only)

Wear your heart on your wrist

Casio’s ProTrek Smart range of smartwatches are particularly rugged, designed for outdoor pursuits like hiking rather than running or athletics. The latest version, the WSD-F21HR, updates the 2018 WSD-F20 model with a function that some users commented they thought was lacking — a heart-rate monitor.

As smartwatches, the Pro Treks utilize Wear OS by Google, so they already have numerous handy functions, including GPS, location memory and bearing and altitude sensors. The WSD-F21HR, however, not only adds the ability to monitor heart rate, but it also measures maximum oxygen use per minute per kilogram of body weight (VO2 max), a useful function for endurance training.

The heart rate monitor appears as its own watch face on the LCD screen and is triggered once the device’s accelerometer detects body movement. It can be set to display maximum and minimum heart rates for the day, and once you go beyond the heart-rate zone on display, you are alerted by vibrations. You can check heart rate zone history of the past 24 hours, your daily maximum and minimum heart rates and your energy consumption — all via the watch face. There is also a mobile app to record and manage daily exercises.

Priced at ¥61,600 this is a rechargeable smartwatch and with heart rate monitor and GPS activated, the battery runs for about 20 hours on a full charge of around 2½ hours.

bit.ly/ptcasio-jp (Japanese), bit.ly/ptcasio-eng (English)

Start off on the right foot

Parents need to buy shoes for their children on a regular basis, and because kids’ feet are constantly growing, it’s important to get the right size. Software developer Techfirm’s Pittari-IFME is an app that helps parents keep track of their kids’ growth while reminding them when it’s time to check their shoe size.

To get the measurement, place the child’s foot in the center of a sheet of A4 paper, then take a photograph from above. The A4 sheet gives the app a measurement to compare the child’s foot to. The photo can be adjusted via the app to make sure it’s straight, after which a shoe size is calculated and displayed. The data is then added to a graph, so you can keep track of growth. Every three months, the app also notifies you to remind you to check your children’s feet size again.

Pittari-IFME is a collaboration with IFME, a children’s shoe brand, so it will direct you to its online store to offer suggestions in your kid’s shoe size. But there’s nothing to stop you from just using it as a general measuring aid.

Currently only available for iOS, Pittari-IFME is a free download.

ifme.jp/newstopics/app (Japanese only)

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