Menu
HPE offers new business model for fashion, fitness and gaming businesses

HPE offers new business model for fashion, fitness and gaming businesses

HPE has integrated systems from three companies to build The Avatar Platform at Cebit

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has a new business model for the clothing retail, fitness and PC gaming industries: Get into the modeling business.

The company has incorporated the mother of all photo booths into its stand at the Cebit trade show in Hanover, Germany, this week, and is inviting visitors to step inside to create their own digital avatar.

HPE integrated offerings from three companies to create the Avatar Platform, which builds 3D models of people that can then be digitally clothed and animated.

The avatar creation process begins in a full body scanner that is about 3 meters on a side. Built by Doob Group, it takes 64 pictures simultaneously using an array of cameras stacked in several rings around the subject.

Those images are then passed to the Quantum Human software package from Quantum Matrix, which pieces them together to create a three-dimensional mesh or model of the person in the scanner.

Finally, software from South Korean company Physan is used to simulate virtual clothing. Working from the original manufacturing patterns for the clothing, it can simulate the appearance of the finished article and even its drape -- the way it folds and curves as it hangs from the body.

Although the photos are taken in less than a second, the whole process from entering the room to generating the avatar takes 8 to 10 minutes, said Manuel Meyer of HPE enterprise services.

For now, HPE's system is just a prototype costing about €120,000 (US$135,000).

"We can bring that down to €10,000 to €15,000 by scaling," he said.

Doob already has its scanners in retail stores in New York, Los Angeles, Berlin and its home town, Düsseldorf, where it sells people 3D-printed models of themselves for between €95 and €575 depending on scale. It charges an additional €35 for the data in a 3D-PDF file. 

HPE hopes the data from its integrated system can be free for the end user, with other parties subsidizing the cost of the scan.

The company sees three target markets for the system.

First is online clothing retail, where the value of the system would be in reducing the cost of returns, Meyer said.

The average return rate is around 30 percent, according to HPE, which estimates that allowing online customers to "try on" clothes for color and size could reduce that to 10 percent, saving businesses globally up to $36 billion each year.

Using a digital avatar with the same proportions as their own body, customers can test how purchases will look and, to some extent, how they will fit, increasing the chances that they will be satisfied with a purchase.

"For fashion, you need to wear tight clothes for the scan," he said. That requirement could change as HPE is looking into ways to allow people to wear normal clothes during the scan, then take a few key measurements that can be used to adapt a standardized statistical model of the human body to create the model.

Fitness centers could use the system to help customers track the effectiveness of their workouts. "When you start a training program, you have a certain body shape," Meyer said. By taking regular scans, "you can see how it changes over time."

Finally, there's the PC gaming industry, which might pay for the scans as a way to maintain player engagement.

Many online role-playing and first-person shooter games allow players to customize how they see themselves or how others see them. However, the customization is typically limited to a menu of clothing or accessories dictated by the game developer, or the application of a "skin" or pattern to a standard body shape generated by the software.

Enabling digital avatars that mimic their body shape and appearance could be a way to increase player interest.

HPE is talking to game developers about allowing players to upload avatars in file formats commonly used for the exchange of 3D-modelling data, including FBX and OBJ.

"They will be able to use their avatars in games as soon as game manufacturers open up the API," Meyer said.

Once people have their digital avatar, they can reuse the data in other applications, he said.

Further out, the system could be used to create avatars for virtual reality conferencing systems, he said. That could potentially reduce the bandwidth required to convey body movements and facial expressions viewable from any angle.


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Cebit 2016

Featured

Slideshows

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honoured its top performing partners across the channel in Australia and New Zealand, recognising innovation and excellence on both sides of the Tasman. Revealed under the Vivid lights in Sydney, Intalock claimed the coveted Partner of the Year 2017 (Pacific) award, with Data#3 acknowledged for 12 months of strong growth across the market. Meanwhile, Datacom took home the New Zealand honours, with Global Storage and Insentra winning service provider and consulting awards respectively. Dicker Data was recognised as the standout distributor of the year, while Hitachi Data Systems claimed the alliance partner award. Photos by Bob Seary.

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners
Show Comments