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Avatars For Weight Management and Exercise Update

July 23, 2012 3 comments

One of my most popular posts on this blog from 2008 is titled: Avatars For Weight Loss and Exercise. Since the subject is something that interests many, I thought I would update the subject for you based on updates/changes in technology.

You have to try this BMI visualizer – it is really neat!

Click here to calculate your BMI. Visualize Your 3D Body Shape

Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems. This BMI visualizer is an outgrowth of our research on human body shape modeling, statistics, and perception. It uses a statistical model of human body shape created from thousands of detailed laser range scans of human bodies. From these bodies we analyze how human shape varies with age, weight, gender, etc. to create a mathematical model of body shape variability.

If you want to see how body shape is related to Body Mass Index visit their BMI Visualizer: Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure calculated using your height and weight to estimate how much body fat you have.

Pennington Biomedical Research Weight Loss Predictor

You input your age, height and weight and then set the bar to the number of calories you decrease per day and you see how much weight you can lose without exercise in a year. Link to Dieting vs. Exercise for Weight Loss by Gretchen Reynolds.

Click here to access the Weight Loss Predictor

[TC]2: Turning Research into Reality

[TC]2 offers the KX-16 portable full body scanner for

TC2 Image Twin Single Windows Kinect Body Scanner Accurate human avatars for all applications including size selection advice, virtual fashion and weight loss visualization. Retail uses for Kinect – to create your own personal avatar including face for size selection, virtual fashion [try-on], and weight loss simulation end uses for home, Web-based, retail or smart phone use.

What smart phone applications can you use the KX-16 full body scanner or the [TC]2 Image Twin Single Windows Kinect Body Scanner with?

Image Twin Mobile Browser Weight Loss

One of the unique and best features about this Image Twin mobile browser weight loss system is that the user can either input manual measurements, upload a body shape scan from a home based Single Windows Kinect set-up, or upload your actual bodyscanner data from your own scanner or from a registered partner scanner!

Here is a link to [TC]2′s virtual fashion and size suggestion and mobile browser weight loss main Web page. They have a generic demo version posted to give you an idea of how this application can work. They have two links to connect it to mobile smart phone devices. Here is the mobile link for the Mobile Browser Weight Loss.

The animated gif above will give you an idea what the Mobile Browser Weight Loss looks like in a mobile device. You can select the body tab and either manually enter data specifying height, weight, age or you can upload data from a home based Kinect station or from a body scanner. Once your weight is entered you can select hairstyles, faces features [yes you can upload your own face].

More [TC]2 product and services information is on previous post titled, “[TC]2 , Textile Clothing technology Corporation: 3D Body Scanning Technologies“.

MVM: Online Avatar Weight  Simulation

My Virtual Model [MVM] has developed a Weight Loss Simulator using a generic avatar that is still very popular with users. Since my last post, I have conducted some Web research and noticed that a large number of Web users were having difficulty locating it, or if they did locate it they could only locate the female version and were not able to personalize it.

Judging by some of the post comments I have discovered it seems to be a very inspirational visual tool for many people on the Web that are struggling with weight management issues.

Currently The MVM Weight Loss Simulator  for men and women can be accessed via the MVM site here:

Click on the Personalize to adjust your skin color, hair, age, body shape, etc According to Gregory Saumier-Finch from My Virtual Model, “MVM is licensing the weight loss simulator to sites that promote weight loss. It has a proven track record to double traffic, to increase sales, and email contacts as well.” Here is a link to a recent post MVM: My Virtual Model Update.

I noticed from my Web research that some were using the OptiTex personal model as a weight management tool, measurements are metric.

There have been recent articles published illustrating the positive effects of using either a generic avatars or an avatar customized to represent us as an exercise partner. Weight management is such a struggle and technology has no doubt contributed to the rise of obesity, so if technology can motivate exercise – that’s a good thing.

Using Generic Avatars

Here is a link to an article to refer to about using generic avatars for exercise partners or representations of ourselves is an area of your interest:

Wii Exercise Games

Can you really get fit with Wii exercise? The following article is from WebMD will provide you some information,” Experts weigh in on the value of video game exercise,” By Annabelle Robertson.

For Kids The bottom line for Wii Exercise and Kids articles? Wii exercise is an enhancement not a replacement for real world exercise. In fact that actually is the bottom line for all video exercise games.

Seniors

For Seniors I believe Wii exercise games are excellent activity for seniors. Any activity that involves movement is a good thing for seniors plus it encourages social interaction and that is also a positive things for seniors. Here is a video and some articles on the subject:

ZUMBA and Wii Kinect for Xbox:

MVM: My Virtual Model Update

My Virtual Model.com

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Direct update from Gregory Saumier-Finch, General Manager of My Virtual Model

We have updated our 3 products: Weightloss Avatar, Virtual Dressing Room, and Tog Outfitting Solution. A public API will be launched this summer that will enable developers to build their own weight loss applications for web and mobile. We are getting a lot of interest for the Tog Outfitting solution that uses professional photography and supports different mannequin poses. The Virtual Dressing Room can now use garments digitized at a lower cost per garment. gregory@mvm.com

Gregory Saumier-Finch, General Manager, My Virtual Model

February 20, 2010 1 comment

Gregory Saumier-Finch

As Louise Guay mentioned in the previous post, My Virtual Model closed in November 2009.  In January 2010 plans to rebuild a new company began:  a new company that would benefit from the many years of technology development as well as the vision from the previous company, but with a more current and open approach.

Our new focus is to open up our technology platform to make it available for everyone to create and design with.  Last September, we made a breakthrough enabling virtually any garment on the web to be tried on a Virtual Model with only a few minutes work.  We plan to take this technology – called Quick3D – and bring it to market so people around the world can visualize outfits and mix & match.   I believe in placing the technology in the hands of people to let them innovate remarkable user experiences.  You are welcome to follow our progress at corpo.mvm.com.

Hopefully we will continue to work with Louise in the future and create mash-ups with her Responsive City, Augmented Reality and Neogeography projects.  I can’t wait to see how people use My Virtual Model with e-commerce sites, mobile closets, personal shoppers, fashion consulting, games and more.

The Weight Loss Simulator will continue to be supported, due to popular demand.  The new Virtual Model platform will not only allow people to see their start and goal weights as before, but  will enable sites to build their own weight loss experience.

We hope to be doing more projects in collaboration with Elaine Polvinen in the future.  In the meantime, your feedback and ideas are very welcome.

Gregory Saumier-Finch, February 2010

Part I of this post: Louise Guay            : What I Am Up To

July 2012:  MVM: My Virtual Model Update Post

Louise Guay: What I Am Up To

February 18, 2010 1 comment

Louise Guay

Louise Guay, founder of My Virtual Model and now consultant on Virtual Identity and Women Economy

Elaine was kind enough to invite me in her blog to make an update about MVM, myself and what I am up to. Thank you Elaine.

MVM

MVM was closed last November. It has reopened in January and Gregory, my ex-colleague, is describing his new challenge in the next post. Gregory has been at my side from the beginning, knows the vision and product inside out, and I have total confidence he will bring in a fun and useful product to women, and men as well: Quick3D as a solution to transform a clothing picture into a tryable item.

Outside MVM

As the founder of MVM, I decided to work on what has been my vision since the inception of the company: the Virtual Identity and the Women Economy. From now on, I am doing it outside of MVM. My sixth sense tells me that MVM’s road and mine might meet again in the future.

A Retailer for FitsMe?

As a consultant, I am advising FitsMe, an Estonian company which created a robot working as a visual sizing tool. The robot can take scanner data or any user measurement input, and shapes itself accordingly. We are looking for a retailer to test the proof of concept in the US. FitsMe made a first test run with a European retailer and it was a great success. Less return, more sales, and more trust for users. If there’s a US retailer interested, please contact us!!

Responsive City, Augmented Reality and Neogeography

Extending the Virtual Identity from fashion to environment design and architecture.

I am also working as the expert on Virtual Identity in MIT’s “Responsive City” project. Boston, Sao Paolo, Helsinki, Tokyo, Sydney and Montreal are now part of it.

The project I am leading in Montreal is the “Urban Legend/BIXIWIKI”. It is a social innovation initiative. To renew cities by local community approach, local search economy and geolocalized proximity advertisement (an extension of Virtual Identity) is a true post-recession and economic recovery effort. It is a very tangible and concrete trend.

Of course, what really counts in a town is people, where they are gathering, places they like and experiences they share in these places. To allow citizens to express what they really like, to show the spots they go to with their friends on interactive wiki maps, is to give back cities to their citizens. Urban planners need this type of feedback in order to better plan new city features, People know how to use their imagination and power to create personal maps and like neogeographers, to design their own town.

Using Google’s or other collaborative maps and strolling in Montreal with their Bixi bikes (a new local self-served bike rental service with GPS-mounted chips) people are expressing their social and citizen attitude with an innovative and communicative sense. Digital natives will participate to the project through their virtual world games, interfacing the virtual and the real. We hope that they will be eager to test some augmented reality apps on their mobiles.

The “Urban Legend/BIXIWIKI” is just the beginning, a proof of concept. With Google’s collaborative maps, users will tag their favorite places, comment and share them. Local merchants will be encouraged to claim their registration on Google Yellow Pages, now an integral part of Google Maps. A major player in hair products will ask their hairdressers to claim their own registration page. Using a multiplatform approach, they will offer services to users through geolocalized proximity advertisement. Merchants can easily offer rebates and mobile online coupons. As a matter of facts, they will be subsidizing Bixi rental fees at the same time. A very interesting economic model!

We are planning to deliver a website, mobile applications and games. As there are many events in Montreal during the summer, festivals and other event organizers will join us to offer these services to tourists. Once it works, it will extend to car sharing services, pedestrians and anybody interested in co-designing their neighborhood.

Future of Fashion, Luxury and Virtuality

Luxury groups in Asia are also eager to use virtual identity to make their clients’ life better. I expand my vision of Virtual Identity and Women Economy in some projects in China. Virtual trips can be great attractions in stores or online. Using interactive wiki maps as platforms to distant cities and your body as interface is a cool way to travel (walking in cities is a contemporary art form, as someone said…)

Louise Guay, February 2010

Next Post: Gregory Saumier-Finch, General Manager, My Virtual Model

Multidimensional Fashion Technology I

There is a reason that my posts have not been frequent since the spring semester ended. I have been focusing on developing two on-line courses for fall 2008. One is totally in world and on ANGEL. See post titled: Register for College Level Intro to Virtual Fashion in SL [fall 08′] I would like to invite Fashion professors from other countries that would like to sponsor a fashion student for an independent study to participate in this class with me. If you are interested – please e-mail me at polvinem@buffalostate.edu. Learning to conceptualize, work and develop in a free 3D virtual application like Second Life will introduce fashion students for the transformative changes that are currently underway in the global fashion industry. If students gain a comfort level working in a virtual world, their learning curve for a multidimensional product development application will be substantially reduced.

I have also been “officially” retooling over to the multidimensional OptiTex technology; it is the next logical step to prepare future professionals for the 3D transformational changes that are currently taking place in the global fashion industry. I have a twenty year CAD/CAM technology background that includes retooling, developing course materials and teaching surface/textile design for industry, computer pattern making, marker making and more recently 3D fashion applications.

The 360 degree rotational images that are possible with this system can be used for marketing or pre-marketing. Perhaps even using the digital 3D imagary for a mass personalization retail marketing application like MVM’s BrandMe. Developing a fashion product in digital format from square one will save time, cut costs and facilitate marketing of the product on line in addition to collaborating directly with the manufacturer in 3D to eliminate costly development miscommunication errors.

I would like to integrate the OptiTex cutting-edge CAD/CAM Marker, PDS and Modulate programs in the curriculum. The reasons why I selected OptiTex to retool on are listed in my blog posting titled: Technology Day at FIT: Teaching and learning in Four Dimensions.


I have been working on it for the past three-four weeks now and it’s a totally amazing application! I am planning to develop some basic pattern development and modification tutorials, so I thought I would begin by sharing a bit of the stitching, simulation and 3D viewing for a basic sloper video [posted above] that I created following the instructions from Helen Joseph Armstrong’s Patternmaking for Fashion Design. The Optitex online support Wiki is both an exceptional learning and teaching tool, it will facilitate quick response retooling for educators and industry.

Oh by the way – the fabric pattern in the video above was from a portion of a Second Life screen shot during a visit last evening with Bettina Tizzy [and some close colleagues from FIT] at CHakryn Forest. Bettina founded the working group “Not Possible IRL,” : 1) To identify, showcase and promote content creation in virtual worlds that would not be possible in Real Life; 2) To seek and disseminate knowledge that empowers content creators; and 3) To advocate for better recognition and protection of the rights of content creators in virtual environments. Here are some FLICKER links to NPIRL [Not Possible In real Life]  : Situations Not Possible in Real Life (NPIRL) and Avatars Not Possible in Real Life (NPIRL).

Here is the one screenshot I took…

…and here one of the textures [that I used in the video above] that I developed from the image above in Photoshop.

Here are two more from the same inspiration…

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I stated during my presentation at Technology Day at FIT, RMIT and Ryerson, if fashion education does not initiate the type of quick response solution (that students are taught with regards to the real world) to the unprecedented transformational technology shift that is taking place over to 3D, they run the serious risk of becoming redundant and obsolete and could actually be the driving force for industry to develop private training institutes.”

The primary focus of this Virtual Fashion Technology blog is to document the transition and expansion from 2D traditional to 2D Digital to 3D virtual for apparel textile product design, development and retailing. Retooling on a multidimensional fashion product development application will be a major contribution.

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Avatars for Weight Loss and Exercise?

Avatars for Weight Management and Exercise Update – July 23, 2012

In a past post [ Part 3: Avatars for Retail Marketing? It’s Not Only Coming – it’s Here!]  I have mentioned that My Virtual Model [MVM] has developed a Weight Loss Simulator that is very popular with users. Current The MVM Weight Loss Simulator can be accessed here MVM Weight Loss link.

MVM: My Virtual Model Update – July 9th, 2012

Jessica’s Weight Loss Page is a true testament to the positive influence that the use of avatars for weight loss have. Jessica lost 140 pounds and promotes the free Weight Loss Simulator that was available in Prevention Magazine. Make sure you visit Jessica’s Weight Loss Page to check out her Virtual Weight Loss Model.  This user lost 80 pounds and used the MVM Weight Loss Avatar to help inspire her to continue!
According to Gregory Saumier-Finch from My Virtual Model, “The most popular use for products are for those that are hard to try-on instore, most notably swimwear and jeans.”

 Avatars are positively used to inspire weight loss but exercise? Is it possible? Well check out today’s NY Times ” Fitness for Every Body – O.K., Avatar, Work With Me,” article by By Seth Schiesel [05/15/ 2008]. The article has multiple reviews about Wii Fit Nintendo’s latest product targeting the home fitness market. According to Schiesel,

“Nintendo’s latest brainchild, Wii Fit, could send similar ripples through the home-fitness market. Scheduled to be released in North America next week, Wii Fit is not meant to replace a gym. But in a world of $3,000 elliptical machines and $150-an-hour personal trainers, it has at least a chance of becoming a global, affordable, mass-market interactive home-fitness system. (On its overseas debut last month, it became one of the fastest-selling games ever in Britain.)”

When I saw the release of the original Wii I wondered how long it would take Nintendo to figure out that this would present an exercise/physical movement option that is fun and enjoyable to many. The author provided the Wii Fit to an assorted group of product reviewers [ Multitasker, Sweat Hound, Fitness Professional and Yoga Master] and provides their detailed feedback and conclusions about using the product.

In a nutshell the Multitasker really liked it and thought it was like an interactive exercise game. The Sweat Hound who s a regular at the gym was quite impressed with it for those that cannot or do not want to go to the gym regularly. The fitness Professional – really liked it and concluded it would e a good tool for those that cannot make it to the gym.The fitness professional agreed with my instant deduction that this would be an excellent tool for seniors. Here is a link to an article [05/15/2008] by Mike Snider from USA Today titled , Wii finds home in retirement communites, medical centers.” that focuses on the senior market. The Yoga Master was not exceptionally impressed because yoga is a mind/body activity and the Wii Fit focuses on body. The Couch Potato’s concluded it was like a game with a big variety of activities, it encourages you to do more but nothing replaces good old fashioned motivation. The bottom line was that the overall reviews were very positive about this new Wii Fit that incorporates avatars into home exercise. Here is a link to the video on NY Times.

“The system costs $90, plus $250 for the basic Wii console. It uses a television and a sensitive “balance board” placed on the floor to present a few dozen activities, from push-ups to yoga, to more entertaining challenges like balance games and aerobic contests. Nintendo is not aiming Wii Fit at people with a serious exercise regimen. Rather, it is meant to appeal to the person busy with work and family who just wants to have fun getting a little toned at home.”

Anything that inspires us to move more is WELCOME!

Who is the creator of this innovative product? Shigeru Miyamoto, the father of iconic Nintendo mascot Mario. You can read about him in USA Today in an article titled,” Designer Miyamoto makes video games pulse with life, by Mike Snider [05/15/2008].

Link to another article in Time by Anita Hamilton titled, “Weighing Wii Fit: Serious Fun,” 05/14/2008.

Here is a video of the Wii Fit on Good Morning America.

This review video is pretty good the user works with the Wii Fit.

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Technology Day at FIT Part V: MVM Louise Guay

Technology Day at FIT: Teaching and learning in Four Dimensions

This brings us to the closing remarks: Virtual Identity and Visual Search was to be presented by Louise Guay, PhD., Founder and President of My Virtual Model [MVM].  I was extremely disappointed that Ms Guay was unable to make it to the Technology Day conference but she did manage to send a video of he presentation. I am including it here .

Louise mentions and illustrates how the Virtual Model and Virtual Home applications augment the users power to extend themselves. She mentions some of the ever expanding brands that MVM works with. She speaks about how the BrandMe application provides the user with access to mix and match (and save) multiple brands as well as post the virtual model to e-mail, blogs or a variety of social sites including FaceBook.

She is very excited about the new MVM Visual Search application and explains when and where it will be released. The video illustrates the data base visual search application that will enable the user to try on literally any product.

Link to my FLICKR images from the conference.

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

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