Interview with Yoram Burg

Yoram Burg
Yoram Burg

3D visualisation in fashion to be focused around AR & VR
The Puerto Rico-headquartered Embodee is geared toward creating 3D solutions that help the apparel industry adapt to the ever-growing digital transformation, while simultaneously cutting waste and inefficiencies. In a chat with Paulami Chatterjee, Embodee's VP sales, Yoram Burg, discusses existing problems and opportunities in the 3D world.

Although the textile/fashion/apparel industry has fast forwarded its adoption of technology since the pandemic struck all, it will be a while before it takes on blockchain, 3D etc. What is your estimate? By when do you expect it to become as common as the iPhone!?

It's a great question! While we hear of increased demand for 3D, we are yet to see brands and retailers adopting an approach to 3D, not just purchasing 3D licenses. Given that in-person meetings are limited at the moment, it is just natural that 3D demand is on the rise, but how to make it a mainstay and a process that delivers at scale remains something that brands are struggling with. Being in the 3D Digital Product Creation (DPC) space for over 18 years now, we have only praises to sing about 3D; each of the authoring solutions is designed to deliver an answer to a problem, but at the same time few things are missing to make it scale. To name a few, how to make 3D available anywhere, accessed and worked by a user with little to no 3D skillset, allow brands to benefit from the best-of-breed approach their suppliers have taken, easily carry the product from a desktop license to a website and more. Once we get through such stages we will see higher acceptance and adoption.

At what rate is the global market for 3D visualisation growing? Which countries are at the forefront to adopt the 3D technology?

At Embodee, we have been speaking to prospects and leads from all over -- India, Sri Lanka, China, EU, the US, and other regions. The good news is we keep hearing that the supply chain is onboarding 3D, in many cases more than one solution. This is a good approach as a combination of solutions can be better than one solution depending upon the products in question, for example, footwear vs apparel. In general, we see 3D more widely used in the western hemisphere, for the most part for design purposes, and nicely adopted in the Asian markets where there is a mixed-use of design and fit.

What is required of the end-users of your Orchids platform to use it with ease?

The Orchids platform is entirely web-based so all that is needed is a browser and an internet connection. Our Orchids platform was designed with all user types, from designers to marketing, merchandising, and sales in mind. This is why it is easy to use with very little if any training. Once a 3D model is uploaded into the platform, anyone within the product creation pipeline can change materials, create different colourways, add prints or graphics and generate collections or high-quality renderings from anywhere at any time.
What is required of the end-users of your Orchids platform to use it with ease?

What are the skills, technology, and content gap - which stand in between manufacturers/ retailers/ brands and a 3D-centric future? How difficult is it to convince fashion brands and retailers to adopt 3D technology?

One of the issues we raised is the skill set required to work with 3D; if it was hard to come by before Covid-19, it will surely be a bigger issue as we transform to a new reality of more remote work. Add capex requirements on top of that and 3D becomes a challenge for SMB's and those brands reeling from the loss of business due to the pandemic. While everyone loves the final result 3D delivers, many struggle with the journey of getting there. One of the main goals for 3D is to enhance communication, collaboration, and extend the use of 3D in one location to benefit in another location. This is, in our opinion, where the biggest gap exists and where solutions should focus on. 

In our observation 3D needs to be around us, available to everyone, with little skill set required to operate it which is why we created the new Orchids web platform. This way, a small business or a brand with limited investment in 3D will still be able to benefit from 3D.

How do you map companies according to their 3D requirements and propose solutions on the first hand? Please share some examples.

We divide this into the following two scenarios:
1) In scenario one, we will discuss a use case by SMB that wants to enjoy 3D, most likely can afford the purchase of desktop software but is unable to justify the investment due to the cost of the required skill set (and maybe hardware). In this scenario, the Orchids web platform helps everyone along the equation as we connect the SMB with an external content creation partner who prepares the core 3D model, the content creation partner then uploads the model(s) into the Orchids web platform, enabling anyone at the SMB to continue with variant creation using a web browser, resulting in having a collection of 3D products that is ready to be shared and sold.

2) In the use case of a company that has invested in 3D, we introduce the logical path of scaling the use of desktop software licenses. In this scenario, the desktop license will be used by the business' (or their suppliers') 3D modeler to its full extent creating all the necessary models. Once completed, the model is then uploaded into the Orchids platform from where any designer, product manager, merchandiser, sourcing manager, and all other stakeholders internal or external to the company can design variants and assortments whether they know 3D or not. This is truly the scaling of 3D.

What are the future possibilities of 3D visualisation in fashion? Which are the areas which require more refinement?

We believe that the future possibilities of 3D visualisation in fashion are mainly around: artificial and virtual reality, virtual dressing rooms, and other consumer experiences in 3D.

As for refinement -- we think current 3D solutions are becoming increasingly complex for the average person and require specific hardware or personnel to operate. We believe the refinement can be done by solutions that live via the web, through a browser with less technical or specialised users in mind.

For instance, a solution in which a less technically savvy audience has the ability to create compelling scenes to place their products and generate high-quality assets or renders from their browser allows for much more utility across the organisation than what is typical in today's rendering pipeline. In addition, the ability to share these outputs in more universal formats so they can be leveraged by other tools is the icing on the cake.
Published on: 15/12/2020

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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