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3d Scanning Technology for the Retail Industry

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3D Scanning Technology For The Retail Industry


Previous research indicated that 3D scanning technology is being successfully employed since many years in the military industry; it provided a fast selection of the correct size of uniforms for the entire staff. [1]. In fact, the technology can be exploited to the commercial field, especially the fashion and apparel industry.  Some of the companies have performed the experiments or start-up projects by installing the required hardware, software and solution in various locations including shopping malls. Reliable extraction of body measurements can be done by the available software after the hardware’s scanning and operation, web solutions for the presentation of garments. However, the start-up projects have not bought the expected success in the commercial area. Today, with the on-going large cost reduction given by the appearance of new competitors, methods of digitization of the human body using the 3D scanning technology would become more interesting for the fashion and apparel industry. Therefore, a large expansion of these technologies is expected in the near future. [2]

The principle of the 3D scanning systems is based on optical triangulation by non-contact methods using either laser or light projection systems. [3] After obtaining the data from scanning, it is then extracted by a software program using computer. Compare with the two methods of scanning, laser and light projection system, the principle of operation is similar but different solutions have strengths and weaknesses, for examples, using light projection types of scanning are usually faster in scanning time but slower in extraction of the data from software than using laser.

By comparing to traditional tape method, 3D body scanning has advantages of accuracy and high speed in the process of measuring.  It will be a beneficial and innovative technology in the retail industry for developing of mass customization. Time, Errors and Cost can be reduced by accurately specify uniforms size under using 3D body scanning and data analysis.

  1. Principles

3D body scanning systems consists of one or more light sources, the light sources can be laser or white light. It also consist capturing devices, software, a computer system and a monitor screen. 3D body scanners capture the outside human body. The scanners are working with optical techniques, in combination with light sensitive devices, without contacting with the human body.

Either Laser or white light scanning systems follow the four main steps. (See Figure 1)  First, the scanner emits the light sources and the object is illuminated by the mechanical motion of lasers or white light. Second, the light sources is reflected by the object and the reflected pattern is then detected by the CCD cameras. Third, the distance from the subject to the CCD camera is calculated from the displacement of the structural light pattern. Finally, computer will use the software to analysis the distance data and then use them to generate a three-dimensional representation.



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