Vancouver-based Wiivv partners with Dr. Scholl's to create custom insoles

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      Vancouver tech darling Wiivv is bringing its foot-measuring software to a global stage.

      The company announced at Las Vegas’s Consumer Economics Show (CES) that it’s partnering with Dr. Scholl’s—one of the most recognized brands in foot care—to create custom 3-D-printed insoles for the international giant.

      Wiivv’s technology offers individuals the chance to create a bespoke foot support using just a smartphone app. Users capture their foot profile with their phone camera, and the software analyses 400 data points from the image to determine its unique contours and arch type. The scans are then sent via the app to the company, and users receive their new insoles within two weeks.

      Wiivv’s partnership with Dr. Scholl’s will allow its technology to reach a wider customer base.

      “Dr. Scholl’s understands the importance of customization for a growing number of consumers,” said Claudia F. Metcalf, U.S director of marketing at the company. “This new offering enables us to make inserts to the exact specifications of our customers’ feet, with just the right support in just the right places. Using Wiivv Fit Technology, we are bringing a custom 3-D experience to the reliable, comfortable inserts Dr. Scholl’s is known for. This is a breakthrough in premium personalization with the ability to shop from home.”

      The location of the announcement is no coincidence. In 2016, Wiivv was a runner-up in TechCrunch’s feted Hardware Battlefield competition, held at CES. Following the accolade, the company launched its first Kickstarter campaign to produce 3-D-printed custom insoles (which broke the Kickstarter record as the most funded 3-D-printed product), and first connected with Dr. Scholl’s. The pair chose to publicize their partnership at the event to honour how far the company has progressed.

      “What we pioneered at Wiivv is helping Dr. Scholl’s scale its custom business and meet the needs of consumers who are beginning to understand the benefits of custom for the body,” said Wiivv co-founder and CEO Shamil Hargovan. “We are a technology company, but we exist to add active and meaningful years to your life by making custom products one at a time, so that you can move, feel, and live your best. It’s an honor to partner with Dr. Scholl’s and we’re thrilled to be moving on-demand retail and manufacturing in America forward.”

      With its new collaboration, Wiivv joins a long line of B.C. companies offering innovation to the world. Since the 1900s, local residents have invented products including the egg carton, the walkie-talkie, and the steering-wheel lock. In more modern times, Metro Vancouver-based businesses have solved the questions of how to turn wastewater into fertilizer, build mines in virtual reality, and create an AI system for sorting recycling.

      Dr. Scholl’s Custom 3D Inserts are available in three-quarter and full-length models, and can be purchased by downloading the Dr. Scholl’s Custom 3D Inserts app from the Apple or Google Play Store, or by visiting Individuals looking to buy through Wiivv directly can still do so here, where they can also pick up a pair of the company’s custom 3-D-printed sandals.

      Kate Wilson is the Technology Editor at the Georgia Straight. Follow her on Twitter @KateWilsonSays