"For fashion, you need to wear tight clothes for the scan," he said. That requirement could change as HPE is looking into ways to allow people to wear normal clothes during the scan, then take a few key measurements that can be used to adapt a standardized statistical model of the human body to create the model.
Fitness centers could use the system to help customers track the effectiveness of their workouts. "When you start a training program, you have a certain body shape," Meyer said. By taking regular scans, "you can see how it changes over time."
Finally, there's the PC gaming industry, which might pay for the scans as a way to maintain player engagement.
Many online role-playing and first-person shooter games allow players to customize how they see themselves or how others see them. However, the customization is typically limited to a menu of clothing or accessories dictated by the game developer, or the application of a "skin" or pattern to a standard body shape generated by the software.
Enabling digital avatars that mimic their body shape and appearance could be a way to increase player interest.
HPE is talking to game developers about allowing players to upload avatars in file formats commonly used for the exchange of 3D-modelling data, including FBX and OBJ.
"They will be able to use their avatars in games as soon as game manufacturers open up the API," Meyer said.
Once people have their digital avatar, they can reuse the data in other applications, he said.
Further out, the system could be used to create avatars for virtual reality conferencing systems, he said. That could potentially reduce the bandwidth required to convey body movements and facial expressions viewable from any angle.
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