Advancing medical and dental innovation incorporates 3dMD’s most mature customer community. In 1999, 3dMD assisted in transitioning the health profession from taking traditional 2D photographs as a visual reference to capturing anatomically-precise 3D surface images for surgical intervention assessment, objective measurement of morphological change throughout the treatment cycle, and outcomes evaluation. From its early origins, 3dMD had the task of delivering technology products that work seamlessly in challenging pediatric hospitals to assist with complex long-term treatment cycles such as cleft lip/palate. Today with 3dMD’s temporal-4D motion systems, 3dMD customer teams can assess, quantify, and measure shape change in a patient’s anatomical function, movement, pose, posture, communication, and expression. In medical as well as the dental worlds, 3dMD systems are now considered the standard near-truth reference system for 3D anthropometric analysis. To date, 3dMD has been used and referenced supporting hundreds of articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, as well as presentations and posters at medical and dental conferences all around the world.
With a challenging objective of automating computer programs to replicate the responsibilities of a human visual system, Computer Vision focuses on developing a deep machine learning model. Today advanced 3dMD customer teams are focused on collecting and building databases of near-truth 3D shape image information for synthesis into a generic factual training phase to ensure the foundation of best output results. As a baseline, 3dMD is essentially a computer vision application. However, 3dMD is also a tool to help research teams rapidly advance their own computer vision applications in the early phase of development. With a medical imaging foundation, 3dMD provides teams with a progressive sequence of functional 3dMD models whose provenance can be related to a predictable and consistent ground truth derivative. This will enable research teams to focus on establishing deep learning resources that document quantitatively observed behavior for perceptive interpretation in the wild – whether it is to achieve contactless explicit communication with devices or teach devices to interpret and predict implicit human intent.
Human visual perception inputs sensory experiences into a heuristic analysis to make qualitive decisions. To support AI initiatives, 3dMD customer teams are building vast diverse databases of human subjects performing natural actions; gesturing with their face, body, limbs, and/or hands; and reacting to stimuli to build the deep machine learning model needed to quantitatively characterize visual sensory experiences. 3dMD systems are both quantitative and qualitative, feeding the deep learning model rich, near-truth 3D shape information captured at 10-120Hz throughout the entire subject performance. Because of the depth and richness of that data pool it has a persistent value and can be re-mined to explore further detail, flow, and structure as the AI Kernel develops.
Today companies are more motivated than ever to implement and expand robot use within the workplace to decrease the number of staff physically present, increase social distancing and promote worker safety. Robots can assist humans by performing repeatable tasks in a consistent manner, which many companies believe could continue 24×7 to satisfy the demands of a global marketplace. While moving inventory from one end of the warehouse to the other has already been implemented robotically by many companies around the world, the jobs that require more human skill and dexterity such as picking small items out of a bin, opening containers or food preparation require the robot to know where to gently grab and how to interact with the item to achieve the desired end result. To achieve this, 3dMD customer teams are building training databases of human actions and subtle articulation in the context of accurate spatial interactions with objects and devices to drive their machine learning algorithms.
Wearable Technology and e-Textiles
Now that smartphones are widely adopted, wearable devices, smart headsets, and smart fabrics are the next big innovation, which will essentially place a persistent technology foundation on the human body that tracks and communicates passive and active activity information in real time. Whether the purpose is to stay fit and active, lose weight, be more organized, track your overall mental and physical health, or be entertained and communicate, the wearable will need to be strategically located on the body and designed to be worn comfortably and ergonomically empathetic with our daily activities. To achieve these objectives, 3dMD customer teams are using 3dMD to ergonomically design the device to actual subject body types and calibrate wear with the subject’s natural actions. The progressive sequence of 3dMD images conveniently captures a subject’s movement to evaluate overall dynamic flow while wearing the device, as well as a single frame pose that may indicate a design refinement would improve the performance, comfort, and experience. This connected, intelligent, and immersive application is a natural evolution for 3dMD based on the early work by 3dMD customer design teams in the area of advanced prosthetics and performance sportswear. Recently researchers have been evaluating the integration environment of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) with smart headwear to provide safety combined with improved communication and information resources through XR projections. Wearable Technology includes… Smartwatches, Fitness Trackers, Sports watches, Head-Mounted Displays (VR headsets and AR smartglasses), Hearables, Consumer Health, Smart Clothing, etc.
Human Factors, Anthropometric, Size and Fit
The traditional mass production of garments has been based on the measurements of one average customer represented as a single fit (or size) model and the subsequent creation of other sizes based on proportional increases. This approach ignores the wide variety of body shape types within each size category thus creating garments that do not fit many consumers and cause supply chain inefficiencies. To address these discrepancies, 3dMD customer teams are actively capturing body type variations within a size category, as well as population samples with meaningful ethnic and age diversity, to modify their legacy sizing systems. Additionally, with current supply chain disruptions to the traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, 3dMD customer teams are evaluating local Make-to-Order opportunities. 3dMD systems provide workflow efficiencies that optimize the Episode of Encounter per consumer ensuring a positive experience with no physical contact and social distancing. Whether it is producing well-functioning safety gear, developing a better fitting shoe or glove, improving performance sportswear and uniforms, or designing seats that improve comfort, 3dMD captures the individual consumer’s dynamics and anatomical 3D shape and size image precisely and economically. In 2016 a 3dMD customer team integrated 3dMD into the first pilot on-demand apparel production pipeline where the consumer is imaged with 3dMD upon arrival and the garment is subsequently manufactured prior to departure from the facility.
AR/VR/XR Content and Perception Training
XR interactivity and immersion can truly enhance communications to create a memorable user experience whether it is a shopper trying on a watch on her actual wrist; a soldier being trained how to respond to a dangerous situation; or a worker connecting to a conference room surrounded by other virtual colleagues. To ensure that the user feels transported to another situation or sees products within his/her own room, visual design of the virtual environment and user experience is key, which brings us to XR’s biggest challenge… creating convincing virtual environments. For some virtual environments, this will require the creation of life-like avatars that can participate with a user for minutes or even hours. Sustainable engagements with others in the virtual environment will require avatars to effectively communicate and experience a range of emotions, which constantly sends signals from the face and body, in reaction to real-time stimuli and situations. To address this, 3dMD customer teams are building diverse human performance/emotion databases to use as avatar training sets. On a separate but related note, other 3dMD customer teams are building repositories of hand gesture information as this is proving to be an efficient way to control the UI. They are tracking hand motion along with finger articulation so users can reach out and interact with objects in the virtual environment.
Genetics & Biomarkers
Preventative medicine takes a proactive approach to patient care by establishing an individual’s health and well-being prior to the need for acute interventional treatment. To support this important endeavor in today’s world, 3dMD customer teams are working to identify biomarkers that can help predict possible disease risk, facilitate early detection, and assist diagnostic classification to guide more effective treatment. Supporting a personalized, preventive, and predictive approach, external Biomarkers related to the surface of the patient’s body are continuously being identified and studied. Over the years 3dMD customer teams in genetics and disease control research have published morphological structures on the body which can serve as a visual indication of a possible underlying condition. Being able to identify biomarkers on a 3dMD image taken during routine or remote appointments not only benefits the individual with possible early detection, but can lead to aggregate improvements in disease control for the community and in extreme cases lead to minimizing the risk of disability or premature death.