The ShapeScale scanner combines a scale with a scanner that sits on a robotic arm. It scans you up and down and rotates around your body to capture every millimeter of your 3D profile, said Alex Wayenberg, CEO of San Mateo, Calif.-based Shape.
Wayenberg said the scanner is a “structured light” sensor that transfers the image to your mobile phone. When you pull up the ShapeScale app, you can see yourself in 3D. The scan takes less than a minute, and today it takes about 15 minutes to send to your smartphone via Wi-Fi. I let them scan me, and it took a very short time to complete.
Shape plans to start shipping the units in 2018, which is later than the company’s original goal. Cofounder Martin Kessler said in an interview that the company is refining the product and bringing down the cost.
“We have this body model and we extract your body girth measurements,” Wayenberg said. “This is the best way to keep track of your body fitness progress when you actually start to exercise.”
Whole body scanners have been around for 15 years, but they’re huge and very expensive. Shape is trying to make them much cheaper, and the price for preorders is $500. (The company will take $100 now and $400 when the product ships). The aim is to do scans much more accurately than with other kinds of 3D scanners.
Wayenberg said his machine can measure localized areas of fat, such as the amount on your arms or legs. That’s very useful for tracking the changes in your body over time. With the app, you’ll see the percentage of muscle mass and body fat.
“If you are training, you can target muscle groups to grow them,” said Wayenberg.
Shape has collected 75,000 followers, and it is now going down the wait list to see if those followers are willing to make a preorder. The orders have already hit six figures, and more than 10 million people have viewed the company’s trailer.
Wayenberg said the company experimented with different kinds of designs before determining that the most accurate was to keep the person’s body stable and scan it with a moving robotic arm.
The company has been working on the technology for two years and is backed by Y Combinator. Over time, Shape hopes to add new applications, such as showing a golfer how to swing using a perfect replica of the golfer in a 3D model. Shape has three employees, and the company has raised $690,000 to date through equity crowdfunding.
“We believe it will be indispensable to have access to this data in real time,” Wayenberg said.