Manhattan-based 3D capture and 3D modelling company Body Labs is already one of the leading names in capturing and analyzing the human body’s shape and transforming it into fully-manipulable 3D assets. Their technology uses advanced software and algorithms to convert a standard 3D scanned body into a mathematically-accurate, 3D digital avatar that can be posed, animated or analyzed. Their already impressive technology is about to get a boost thanks to a new agreement that grants them exclusive rights to a pair of Brown University-held patents and licenses for several new 3D technologies developed by Max-Planck-Innovation GmbH.
Body Labs’ ability to create accurate 3D models of the human body using data captured from a variety of sources will be expanded with the addition of U.S. Patents 9,189,886 B2 and 2013/0249908 A1. The patents include proprietary technology developed using research conducted by computer vision scientist Michael J. Black that allows the generation of 3D avatars capable of realistic and anatomically accurate movements and poses using a statistical model of human shape, pose and motion. The Body Labs process uses machine learning algorithms and a comprehensive set of human shapes and poses to convert measurements or scans into statistically-accurate body geometries.
In addition to the patents, the licenses that were granted for access to several new Max-Planck-Innovation technologies will help Body Labs further expand its 3D data management into other areas of the human body, including hands, feet, faces and heads. These new technologies will streamline the integration of Body Labs 3D data into several related industry workflows like computer animation, gaming, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), health monitoring and fitness tracking. They will also offer a new level of detail of soft-tissue deformation based on shape data and pose variations that have been captured using advanced 4D scanners.
“These exclusive patents and licenses enable us to unlock unprecedented personalization across the entire human body and ensure our technology is more accessible than ever to a growing list of industries. It’s been a privilege to be partnered with Brown University and the Max Planck Institute for the past three years. These patents and licenses enable us to further expand our relationship and drive rapid innovation in the 3D body modeling space,” said the co-founder and CEO of Body Labs, William O’Farrell.
Body Labs creates a body model by referencing the static 3D outlines generated by laser scanners or a depth sensor, even low-quality 3D scans or a simple set of measurements can be used in the process. The 3D data is applied to a statistical model that will generate a template body mesh capable of sub-millimeter accuracy. This is possible due to a statistical analysis of the typical human body shape and the poses and motions capable with that body shape, which will result in an incredibly detailed and fully manipulable 3D avatar.
These 3D avatars can then be accessed by select retailers to offer services like online sizing recommendations, virtual clothes fittings and custom clothing. The 3D avatar can also be used to track fitness progress, the personalization of VR or AR experiences and even inserted into a video game. An estimated 60 million smartphone users are expected to access AR apps in 2016, and a projected 25 million units of VR headsets are expected to be in the hands of consumers by 2018. Body Labs is expected to be one of the first companies offering the human body as a digital platform for this rapidly growing new market. What’s your take on avatars that can be manipulated like this? Let’s talk about it over in the 3D Body forum at 3DPB.com.