Q&A Company Profile: TH3RD

Please tell us about your company?
Th3rd creates digital twins of products and people. The realistic 3D content we create is fit to use in (digital) marketing, VR, AR, as Holograms and serves as a master file within your asset collection to create advertisement campaigns for instance. To support large brands & retailers in digitising their product catalogue, we’ve launched a corporate solution called 3D scanning as a service, or: 3DSaaS. By using a combination of 3D scanning and automated post processing techniques, a shoe is captured in 3D almost fully automatic.

Adidas saw the value of your service. How did your partnership came to be?
Our journey with adidas has been truly amazing. Adidas was one of the first companies to understand the need to digitise their products at scale and signed a contract with us through their start-up accelerator program Platform A. For adidas specifically we have scanned 300 pairs of shoes (600 digital twins) in February this year. And as we speak we are digitising another batch of approximately 1000 pairs (2000 digital twins).

“Scaling 3D content creation is going to be one of the biggest
hurdles the fashion market will face in taking advantage
of the current new wave of digitisation.”

How is your solution different?
We’ve actually been 3D capturing products since 2014. What we see happening the last few years is a constant stream of new hypes in the market. First there was the promise of VR, then the amazement around AR and now there is the urgency to digitise because of COVID-19. For every new application a product is captured or created in 3D separately, solemnly for the use in that specific app. We believe 3D content can be used for more than just the latest hype. It’s our conviction that 3D is here to stay, especially for footwear. It’s a vital part of digitising the value chain and we need to move beyond the hypes. We founded our start-up and developed our 3D scanning as a service with this in mind. What makes our service unique is the fact that we can digitise products at scale (50.000 items per scan solution per year) and we can set our 3D models ready to use for any application out there. All within the same price plan. By making 3D a serious part of the workflow, a brand can stay on top of things and establish a more sustainable, faster and cheaper value chain with the help of digital product twins. Adidas and Th3rd really share the same vision in this and that’s why we are a great fit.

What does your 3D capture technology mean for the Footwear Industry?
We believe 3D technology will have a huge impact on the industry. We are convinced that scaling 3D content creation is going to be one of the biggest hurdles the fashion market will face in taking advantage of the current new wave of digitisation. Next to adidas we now also work with Vans – off the wall. They use our service right at the beginning of the chain by digitising the sample items. This actually creates an optimal use of the digital twins. To give a couple of examples, in the sampling phase 3D product twins can be used to digitally (and thus remotely) showcase the samples through a virtual store, making it possible to use less physical samples and less shipping of sample products. Then moving on to the production phase, it’s possible to prepare e-commerce and (digital) marketing activities faster using high-quality 3D models instead of real physical items. This helps reduce the time-to-market, making it possible to test market response to new products before the footwear hits the stores using Augmented or Virtual Reality technology. At the end of the chain, when the footwear is in store having your products in 3D opens up numerous innovative possibilities for more engaging digital product experience. Both in store using Holograms or interactive screens, as well as for remote shopping, using for instance Google AR search or digital try-on (through AR) which has already proven to uplift conversion and reduce returns.

So you create digital twins at scale and offer this ‘as-a-service’, can you explain how this works?

Offering this as a service means that the brand does not need to invest in any hardware. Our service should be an integral part of a brand’s workflow, which is why we offer to build a scan solution on a location of choice as part of our service. This way products never have to leave the premises. Also, the 3D scanning can be done by employees belonging to the brand without the need of any prior knowledge in 3D technology, making it a really efficient way to digitise your products. The brand only pays a fixed price per digital twin (3D model) for our service.

What is the next step? Any plans for the future?

We are not done innovating yet and still have an ambitious innovation road map ahead to further improve our service. Also product wise we will be expanding our service as we go. We started with the automation of digitising shoes, but are in the process of testing and automating other products, such as bags, apparel and accessories.

About Th3rd

Th3rd was founded by Rudo Bisschop and Tristan Bethe in 2014 and is located in Amsterdam (The Netherlands). Rudo studied Entrepreneurship & New Business Venturing at the Rotterdam School of management. Tristan has 18 years of experience in different 3D software programs and is one of the pioneers with the scan technique photogrammetry. In 2017 Esther Bisschop (Rudo’s sister) joined the company. Esther has 12 years of experience in how to run and grow a digital agency. Th3rd is the second company she co-owns.

How to reach Th3rd
Website: https://3dsaas.com/

Email: th3rd@th3rd.nl