Pretty soon, the moment of truth will arrive for all of us, as technology finally reveals everything there is to know about our bodies. Australian startup mPort is taking a step in that direction with the announcement that the health club chain LA Fitness will use its 3D body measurement scanners at its gyms.
The mPod from mPort is a fully automated body scanner that captures a full 3D image of your body and key health measurements, including body mass index (BMI), body composition, and body fat composition. That’s a lot more valuable than just knowing your weight. The mPort folks say that we have relied on that one rudimentary data point for far too long.
The mPod uses what the company says is a safe, non-invasive infrared technology to capture 200,000 data points used to map an individual’s unique body shape. The user’s body is not exposed to any radiation, which makes the device safe for people of all ages, including pregnant women and people with pacemakers, the company said. The mPod data helps users visualize their measurements and understand what they mean to their personal fitness. An accompanying app for iOS and Android provides real-time monitoring of fitness progress over time.
To use this technology, simply create an account and then enter the mPod. The scanner produces a life-sized 3D representation of your body and shows your Basal metabolism rate, target weight, and ideal heart rate. The mPort then tracks how your body image changes over time.
With already more than 100,000 registered users in Australia, mPort plans to make this technology affordable and easily accessible in highly relevant locations, starting with LA Fitness locations throughout California.
“As much as we like to think we are the same, we are not. A human body comes in every shape and size, and one size does not fit all when it comes to health and fitness. In a world fixated on weight and waist size, mPort’s mission is to help users understand their own body shape and live a confident healthier life,” said Dipra Ray, cofounder and CEO of mPort, in a statement. “We are thrilled to expand our footprint to the United States and to be working with LA Fitness. We look forward to enhancing the health journeys of LAF members across their locations nationwide.”
After rolling mPods out across LA Fitness centers in California, the company plans to bring its 3D body measurement technology to locations across the country. LA Fitness has more than 680 locations in 26 states.
Since 2013, the company has raised $12 million from investors including Matthew Quinn, former CEO of Stockland and mPort’s current chairman. It has 38 employees.
Ray got the idea while on a road trip with his cofounder, Andy Wu. The two were discussing how difficult it is to purchase clothing without first trying items on. They realized that they could make this process easier if they could simply capture a person’s accurate body measurements. As they worked on this idea, they realized that body measurements were valuable not just for clothing, but for lifestyle and health, as well. They founded mPort with Melody Shiue. Similar companies in the U.S. include Size Stream and Styku.
Customers at LA Fitness can use the mPod for a 3D body map at no extra charge. This gives them access to unlimited use of the mPod, a free mobile app, and body measurements such as height, weight, BMI, and target heart rate.
If you pay for the premium plan of $5 a month, or $50 per year, you can get measurements of your biceps, chest, waist, hips, thighs, knees, calves, shoulders, and neck. You also get a body composition result, in terms of fat percentage, fat free percentage, and fat free mass (BMR), and your ideal weight range. And you get a 3D avatar, the ability to set specific health goals, and the ability to visualize changes in your body shape over time.