From Radar Missions to the 'Clueless' Closet
Remember the scene in Clueless when Cher Horowitz uses her computer to virtually try-on her clothing to pick out her outfit? That's the best way we can describe what we do at Zeekit. But what you may not know is that the backbone of our virtual try-on tech was actually developed by our co-founders for Israeli Air Force radar missions. Talk about stylish, huh? So let’s have a quick lesson in 3D mapping algorithms (for the computer science challenged), to see how the Zeekit dream was born.
Our co-founders Yael and Nir met when they worked together for a leading Israeli defense company, on developing topography automation technology. In a nutshell, a regular 2D radar picture of topography shows through a grey-scale what the landscape looks like, and our brains can understand the depths of the terrain through the shading. But they created a software that automatically analyzes the same image, including its lights and shadows, to determine its existence, shape, and depth in 3D – including the precise heights of the mountains and valleys.
But they didn’t stop there. They went on to develop technology that analyzes what’s called a “real time intelligence map,” which is essentially a flat map with ever-changing data about what’s going on in the area. They developed an algorithm that takes that intelligence map and reconstructs or “drapes” it over the original topography image, recalculating where each pixel of the intelligence maps falls, and accurately accounting for space and depth.
And that's precisely when they had the eureka moment - what if we could look at the human body as if it's a landscape and create an algorithm to analyze an picture of a body and determine its existence in 3D. And the same way we drape the map over that landscape we can drape a image of a clothing item over the body and determine how it would fall on that landscape. And with that (and years of blood, sweat, and tears), Cher's virtual closet in Clueless came to life!