3D Body Scanning Is Here, and It Could Change How You See Yourself

3D Body Scanning Is Here, and It Could Change How You See Yourself


Have you ever wanted to see a perfectly replicated
model of your insides, in stunningly realistic 3D? Yeah…me neither. Regardless, 3D body scanning is here, and
it’s got some surprising applications. But do people actually want to use it? There’s been a sudden growth spurt in the
market of 3D body-scanning technologies. They use a set of cameras to capture a 360-degree
view of your body and then produce a visual model. There’s an obvious possibility here to create
a replica of your body for a computer game, but this capability is also being leveraged
by companies for several other more real-world uses
On the digital retail front, 3D scans of a customer’s body could be used to help them
virtually ‘try on’ items of clothing. Amazon reportedly just a bought New York-based
start-up called Body Labs, maybe to allow customers to find better-fitting clothes when
browsing Amazon’s fashion section Things are a little further along in the fitness
sector. For a hefty price, you can buy a 3D body scanner
from Naked Labs that will report your metrics, like body fat and lean muscle mass, and gives
you a perfect 360 view of yourself as a little avatar on your phone. The funny thing here is that this body scanner
doesn’t ever look at the inside of your body. It’s only taking pictures of the outside,
and measuring your weight. To produce your report, it compares your data
to a large database of pre-existing body-composition scans. Based on this comparison, Naked Labs’ algorithm
projects what your body composition probably is. Naked Labs is marketing this product as something
that can help you see your fitness progress in minute detail…but can we go even deeper? Yes. With 3D x-rays. MARS Bio-imaging can take highly-detailed
3D scans of the inside your body. CT scans are a kind of imaging that make use
of x-rays, and the fact that MARS is providing a 3D cross-sectional view isn’t new, all
CT scans do that. But this new kind of scanner uses more specialized
detectors to differentiate the x-rays’ frequency as they pass through parts of your body, resulting
in an image that gives a much clearer distinction between materials, like muscle and blood and
skin–and in incredible detail, all the way down to the microstructure of the bone. Hopefully, this advancement can improve the
diagnosis and treatment of myriad diseases and bodily issues. But despite the many applications of 3D body
scanning, the questions remains…will people actually use it? The new 3D CT scans seem to make a lot of
people pretty squeamish. Our brains are hard-wired to dislike seeing
the insides of people because that could be an indication of disease or injury, and our
brain sees as a threat. But this doesn’t necessarily pose a problem
for medical practitioners, who kinda need to be resistant to that kind of squeamishness…it’s
in the job description. What about personal use of 3D body scanning
for fitness, though? A recent study revealed that people felt ‘dejected
and dissatisfied with their body’ after participating in a body scan study, potentially
because the image they were shown didn’t match up with the idea they had of themselves
inside their head, something called self-discrepancy theory. Naked Labs’ app even greys out the avatar
it creates for you supposedly so that you can look at it as ‘objectively’ as possible
and to try to get you to let go of any ‘emotional attachment’ you may have to the model of
your body. So even they recognize that our relationships
to our bodies can sometimes be fraught, and that this may be an issue in implementation. So we’ll see if this becomes a new consumer
tech staple, or if it falls flat. Gathering data about body metrics is definitely
trendy, but also a necessity for extreme athletes like Ben Lecomte as he swims across the Pacific. Ben and his team aboard the Seeker Vessel
are using a heart monitor to track Ben’s cardiovascular health. Check out this episode to see how it works. Let us know what you think in comments below,
and subscribe to Seeker for more health news. Thanks for watching.

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