Clarks awards QinetiQ contract for 3-D foot measurement

JUNE 16--Clarks Shoes is preparing to install 3-D foot gauges in a number of its stores following the award of a £4.6 million contract to QinetiQ (Farnborough, UK; www.qinetiq.com).

Jun 16th, 2006

JUNE 16--Clarks Shoes is preparing to install 3-D foot gauges in a number of its stores following the award of a £4.6 million contract to QinetiQ (Farnborough, UK; www.qinetiq.com). The foot gauge, which uses six 3-D camera systems, will be rolled out into 50 Clarks stores this month to meet the "back to school" season. The company then intends to install foot gauges in all of its UK and Ireland shops during the next 18 months.

The 3-D foot gauge, already successfully tested in two Clarks stores, will be used to measure children's feet quickly and accurately, providing highly detailed length, girth, and shape data and helping to ensure the best fit possible. The recorded 3-D data will also enable trend analysis, assisting future footwear design and improving stock control and the efficiency of in-store service.

The gauge is based on 3-D optical ranging technology developed and patented by QinetiQ. The origins of the technology can be traced back to work done for the Ministry of Defence on the detection of unexploded ordnance. The foot gauge captures data rapidly, and both feet can be scanned simultaneously, allowing store staff to decide quickly on best fit.

QinetiQ's contract includes the development, assessment, manufacture, and supply of the 3-D foot gauges. A manufacturing subcontract has been placed with Plexus, the global electronics manufacturer.

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