It begins the moment a customer walks into the dressing room of a partnering clothing company. Branded as a “Virtual U Style Center” these dressing rooms would be outfitted with a full body scanning system and a simple touch screen panel. After creating an account the user would simply stand still in their underwear for 10 seconds and in the time it takes them to get dressed the program will create a 3D rendering that the customer can use in a couple of ways. With their tablet a user can drag and drop clothing to see how it looks on their 3D model. And if they decide to head home for the day, the user can log on to the VirtualU site, see their personalized size recommendations and then have items shipped directly to their home. “Imagine a day when you don’t buy a shirt online without using VirtualU’s technology,” challenges the company’s CEO Louis Cirillo, “Or imagine stepping into a store and not immediately being tempted to pull out your phone to see what fits you.”
For Chief Marketing Officer, Nick Gagianas its all about that final moment when the customer gets their order in the mail. Whenever they put the garment on the customer should think, “Damn, that’s everything I thought it would be.”
But as the company’s COO, Caroline Pugh, points out, “Its not just confidence its also efficiency.” Louis’ aunt, a cancer survivor, was thrilled when she heard her nephew was working on this technology. A program like VirtualU would mean she no longer had to spend a day out shopping just to come home exhausted and often disappointed. She could instead use her iPad to see exactly how the clothes would fit her. After these profound moments Caroline has been left thinking, “This is something a lot bigger than we thought that it was.”
Currently, the team is nearing early product launch and already getting plenty of attention. VirtualU’s business pitch won first prize at Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council’s Small Bucks Big Bang. They also placed in the top 20 of 600 teams that competed globally in Fortify VC’s Distilled Intelligence 2.0.
VirtualU joined TechPad in May. Since then there have been many late nights spent programming and practicing pitches while taking intermittent naps on bean bags. The team said that getting office space was a big milestone for them. Nick said that after moving into TechPad, “It all started to feel real.”