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Body Scanner Makes Measurements a Cinch

Body Scanner Makes Measurements a Cinch

Posted: February 14, 2012

Forget the lengthy fittings for clothes requiring measuring tape, pins, and lots of patience. Now, there’s a way to get accurate measurements in just seven seconds with the NX-16 3-D body scanner, which the School of the Professions and the Technology Department introduced to campus last  week.


A student model demonstrated how it works by stepping into the full-length scanner, which is like an enclosed dressing room. A recorded voice told the student where to stand and when to turn. A few seconds later, a computerized image of the student's measurements showed up on a monitor attached to the scanner. From there, students could tailor an outfit just for her.

“This is some of the most cutting-edge technology there is,” noted Lynn Boorady, associate professor of technology.

Students now have the ability to create more accurate patterns from their models. It’s quicker and provides more information than a tape measure ever could—including body fat.

The NX-16 3D not only determines waist and stomach width but how that weight is distributed and how much fat the subject carries. Thus, the scanners could be used not only for fashion design students but also for students in the Dietetics and Nutrition Department and Athletics. Boorady said they are looking for collaborative use across campus. The Theater Department, for example, has expressed interest in using the scanner to fit costumes.

“Anything that gives students an advantage is a worthy technology project,” said Elaine Polvinen, professor of technology and coordinator of the fashion and textile technology program. The scanner will increase the fashion program's technological potential, expand student research capabilities, and boost the profile of the Technology Department as a whole.

Currently, only 40 colleges and universities across the country have this particular scanner, and only a handful of retail stores use it. Costco and Brooks Brothers, for instance, use the NX-16 scanners for made-to-measure suits for men, as does Lori Coulter Designs, maker of custom swimwear for women.

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