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January 06, 2021 Wednesday 04:08:09 PM IST

U of T startup collaborates with researchers to launch shoe-sizing app

Education Information

Xesto, a startup with roots in the University of Toronto Early Stage Technologies (UTEST) program, has devised a solution through a collaboration with researchers in the Edward S. Rogers Sr. department of electrical and computer engineering (ECE) in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. Working with a team of graduate students, the company has developed software that uses the iPhone’s facial recognition camera to accurately size your feet. Xesto’s free iOS app made its debut in early December in time for the gift-giving season. The procedure for the consumer is simple: Take four different pictures of your foot and press a button. “That’s the magic behind it,” says master’s student Jeffrey Qiu. Along with Najah Hassan and Jungson Shao, Qiu is working behind the scenes on the 3D-scanning technology. “The user doesn’t need to know what mathematical transformations are reconstructing the foot from point cloud frames.”

For those who want to know how it works, Hassan offers the following explanation: “Point clouds are similar to pixels. What pixels are to 2D, point clouds are to 3D. With different point clouds across time you can arrive at an image with depth.”

Already with one patent and another pending, Xesto’s algorithms can pinpoint foot sizes within 1.5 millimetres. Xesto then takes this measurement and cross-references with the sizing guidelines of over 150 different shoe brands to fine-tune its predicted fit.