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Body Labs Is Closer to Offering Full “Out-of-Body” 3D Interaction
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By Davide Sher | 3D Printing Industry

There are many companies preparing to ride the next wave of customer specific, tailor made online products through the implementation of 3D body modeling. Some approach this developing business model by offering 3D scanning and photogrammetric services, which, however, are limited by the fact that a person needs to physically go to get a 3D scan done first.

Body Labs, a New York City based software development startup, which we at 3DPI have been following very closely since their inception, is taking another, perhaps more effective, approach by developing the BodyKit series of online tools, that let users create accurate digital reproductions of their body shape and volume, uniquely through the use of its ShapeX software tools (the “Instant API”) or software coupled with home 3D scanning devices such as Kinect (the “BodyHub API”).

While awaiting the upcoming personal manufacturing revolution, Body Labs like many other 3D-centric software developers, is now making its tools available to businesses and enterprises that may benefit from them on the short and medium term. The company has just released two new features to its BodyKit embedded component for virtualizing, analyzing and simulating any human body.

The vision moving Body Labs CEO Bill O’Farrel is that of enabling companies to create digital and physical products and services centered on virtual human body models, by simply implementing Body Labs extensive database of information on the human body.

The new API’s will enable a system toinstantly compute the volume and surface area of any body or specific body part such as the arms, legs or torso. This is mainly targeted at companies that offer online products such as clothing and other custom wearables. In the future it could be integrated into online 3D printing services as well.

The system could also be used to monitor a person’s health and fitness during workout programs.

“Body and body segment volumes can be indicative of certain medical conditions; it can also be used as a proxy to estimate body composition and therefore, overall health,” the company explained in a statement.

– Body Labs

One other very interesting feature is full support and compatibility for Adobe’s recently acquired Mixamo platform, which means it allows for automatic rigging of any mesh generated by BodyKit’s instant API. The digital body shape is released in the form of an an open-source script, so that the body models can be rigged with Mixamo-compatible skeletons for easy implementation in digital content such as animation and video games.

The .FBX format meshes can be easily manipulated digitally, using CAD/3D animation programs such as Autodesk Maya or Blender, and while this is certainly a great opportunity for persoanlized digital entertainment content, there is little doubt in my mind that the platform’s applications in online custom shopping are the most fascinating in the longer run. Body Labs has already worked with companies such as shirt manufacturer Woodies and visionary 3D printing design studio Nervous Systems on offering and developing digital tailor made clothing.

As this is a market segment which is currently in a very early phase, Body Labs is offering enterprises the possibility to test its system for free, by signing up to the Idea Plan, which does not allow for saving body content but offers plenty of API and ShapeX (the company’s online body creation tool) interaction. Other professional plans range from $20 to $450 a month. Getting out-of-body and into a digital body is going to become a lot easier.

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