I recently attended the Next Big Thing Summit in Melbourne, featuring a showcase of innovation and technology. One of the cool things I did was to get a 3-D map of my face, from Mark Ruff at 3dbodyscan.com.au.
He had a small booth set up at the trade exhibition, and it took just a few seconds of my time to sit down and be photographed for it:
A couple of days later, Mark sent me the video of the scan, which you can see here:
(Go ahead and play with it. It’s not like a normal video that just plays – it’s a 3-D model you can move around with your mouse or fingers!)
This could be game-changing technology!
Mark usually does full body scans, not just faces, but that requires 86 cameras. So he was just doing the face scans as a demo for the conference.
Either way, this sort of technology could revolutionise many businesses.
Here are just a few examples …
Imagine donning a virtual reality headset and “walking” through a virtual shopping centre. You enter a clothing shop, and want to try on some clothes. The software has your full body scan – with exact measurements – so when you look at yourself in the virtual mirror, you can see exactly how the clothes will fit you.
Hairdressers, make-up artists, and others in this industry can use this to help you choose styles and see exactly how they look – before you spend time and money on them.
The obvious next step is to imagine the effect on the multi-billion-dollar wedding industry, which combines hair, make-up, clothing, flowers, and so on.
This is the next evolutionary step for videoconferencing! Instead of an online meeting where you see other participants on two-dimensional video, you can actually see them in three dimensions, just as if they were physically present.
The same applies to education – at school level, university level, and in the corporate world. Instead of going to a classroom or training room, you join a virtual classroom with a teacher/trainer and other students – possibly from all around the world. You can “see” them, hear them (even understand them if they’re speaking a foreign language, because it’s instantly translated for you), and engage with them as if they were in the same room.
I’m including this one because it’s a large part of my business right now! But I can certainly imagine the day when audiences don’t need to physically travel and meet for a conference. They can attend from anywhere, together with peers and colleagues, and experience many of the same things they experience now at a physical event.
If you think this is a far-fetched idea, keep in mind that we’re already doing it – on Facebook pages, LinkedIn groups, membership forums, and discussion groups. It’s just that we do it by typing on a keyboard. Soon, this 3-D body scanning technology will replace typing with realistic avatars.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg …
I’ve only scratched the surface here. I haven’t even mentioned areas like security, surgery, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, insurance, real estate, diet and fitness, financial planning, photography, interior design, transport, film, tourism, and more.
I can think of applications of this technology in every one of these industries. But of course, as a futurist, that’s part of my job.
I don’t expect you to think of examples in all these industries. But can I suggest that you think of at least three examples in your own industry. Even if those examples are too complicated and expensive right now, it might not be long before they become feasible and affordable. If you’re thinking of them now, you’ll be ready for them – and that’s how to be fit for the future.