This paper presents an overview of 3D body scanning technologies with applications to the fashion and apparel industry.
Complete systems for the digitization of the human body exist since more than fifteen years. One of the main users of
this technology with application in the textile field was the military industry. In fact, body scanning technology is being
successfully employed since many years in military bases for a fast selection of the correct size of uniforms for the entire
staff. Complete solutions were especially developed for this field of application.
Many different research projects were issued for the exploitation of the same technology in the commercial field.
Experiments were performed and start-up projects are to time running in different parts of the world by installing full
body scanning systems in various locations such as shopping malls, boutiques or dedicated scanning centers. Everything
is actually ready to be exploited and all the required hardware, software and solutions are available: full body scanning
systems, software for the automatic and reliable extraction of body measurements, e-kiosk and web solutions for the
presentation of garments, high-end and low-end virtual-try-on systems. However, complete solutions in this area have
still not yet found the expected commercial success. Today, with the on-going large cost reduction given by the
appearance of new competitors, methods for digitization of the human body becomes more interesting for the fashion
and apparel industry. Therefore, a large expansion of these technologies is expected in the near future.
To date, different methods are used commercially for the measurement of the human body. These can be divided into
three major distinguished groups: laser-scanning, projection of light patterns, combination modeling and image
processing. The different solutions have strengths and weaknesses that profile their suitability for specific applications.
This paper gives an overview of their differences and characteristics and expresses clues for the selection of the adequate
method. A special interest is given to practical examples of the commercial exploitation of human body digitization with
applications to the fashion and apparel industry.