3D Body Measurement has a wide range of applications such as sport science analysis, gaming, healthcare and apparel. It was so far limited mainly due to the expense and complexity of the standard body scanning systems. However, it seems that the Microsoft Kinect is changing the game. A UK-based company called Bodymetrics has developed a solution for 3D body measurement utilizing Kinect technology. Using a network of Kinect hardware, they created an elegant body measurement room, which they call a "pod". It is not a body scanner device like the one you have probably seen in the airports. In fact, the non-invasive nature of this technology makes it perfect for this application where only an outline of the human body is needed.
During the scanning procedure in the in-store pod, the customer stands in the pod and it collects data from a network of 16 Kinect sensors, creating a 3D image of the body. "It takes about 5 seconds for the scan to take place. After that the stylist explains the body shape and suggests clothing that is the most appropriate" said Joanne M. Hackett, the director of business development at Bodymetrics in an interview with Computer Vision Online. The customer can potentially take his or her measurements home and use them to try on clothes online.
Joanne added "we have collected data in the past several years on various body shapes by scanning several thousands of people and realized that there are three distinct body shapes that women have and based on that manufactured clothing that fits 90% of these women perfectly".
Bodymetrics is working on extending this technology in a way that you can use your own Kinect device at home, measure your 3D body, and try on the products online. Joanne explained the at-home experience: "You stand in front of the Kinect, you get your body scanned by turning around, one full 360 degree circle. Once the measurements are taken place, your avatar appears on the screen and we have preloaded the software with various different clothing which you can then try on. What we think is very unique and special about this application is that you can actually see how the clothing fits you and the way that you can do that is we have built in this special application that allows you to basically “touch” the garment with your hand as you are hovering it. What you do is you are able to place your hand over the outfit and it changes colors, so wherever you see it is red, it shows where it is tight on the body, blue shows where it is loose, and the green is somewhere in the middle".
A similar method is suggested in a recent paper published in ICCV 2011 by Alexander Weiss, David Hirshberg, and Michael J. Black : "The approach combines low-resolution image silhouettes with coarse range data to estimate a parametric model of the body. Accurate 3D shape estimates are obtained by combining multiple monocular views of a person moving in front of the sensor. To cope with varying body pose, we use a SCAPE body model which factors 3D body shape and pose variations"
Bodymetrics did a small pilot in Los Angeles a couple of months ago, and because of its success, they decided to make a full launch close to the tech hub in Silicon Valley in August. So, be ready to go and get your 3D body scan.
Weiss, A., Hirshberg, D., Black, M.J., "Home 3D body scans from noisy image and range data,'' Int. Conf. on Computer Vision, ICCV, 2011. (pdf)
Photo credit: Bodymetrics