3-D Body Scan

Click here to read Taylor's bio.By Taylor Barnhill
WXTX East Alabama Reporter

May 23, 2008

AUBURN, Al. (WXTX)-- The apparel industry is always looking for ways to better satisfy customers.

In a recent study, professors at Auburn University are using a three-dimensional body scan to help clothing manufacturers better fit tween boys.

Auburn University Consumer Affairs professors are using 3-D digital technology to measure body types of tween boys.

"Right now we are studying the clothing needs and clothing size needs of boys aged 9 to 14," said Dr. Pam Ulrich, Auburn University Professor.

News Leader Nine followed a few boys who were volunteering for the study. Here's how the scan works:

"It was dark and the Auburn fight song came on and I felt like dancing, but I couldn't," described Matthew Kisor, a volunteer for the study.

"You held on to two handles and after you push the button, you had to stand still," said Payne Norton, another volunteer.

"I was in a big old room with cameras all around me. They were shooting at me. One was coming from behind my back," added Kisor.

The body scan uses a series of cameras and sensors to send a 3-D image to a computer on the other side of this wall.

"Through mathematical algorithms and a fixed distance of the towers inside the scanner, the scanner will know how to calculate where the body is in three dimensional space," said Dr. Karla Simmons, a professor at Auburn University.

The entire process only takes about twenty seconds and offers a wide range of information.

"It's a state-of-the-art technology that not only will allow us to get very accurate body measurements -- within an eighth of an inch -- and it is also digital so we can go back to that same body over and over again to get different body measurements if we need to look at something differently," said Dr. Simmons.

And the best part of volunteering for this research?

"Be a part of the solution for the future of great clothes for boys," said Beth Kisor, a mother of one of the volunteers.

"The best part I think was the $30," remarked Norton.

Once the research is complete, retailers will gain more information as to how to make better fitted clothes for tween boys.

For more information on the 3-D body scan, contact Doctor Pamela Ulrich at 334-844-1336 or ulricpv@auburn.edu.