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This week we’re looking at biometric data and mass customization. Biometrics is the study of people’s personal physical and behavioral characteristics in order to identify and better understand them. Essentially an iris scanner at an airport or a fingerprint scanner on your phone are examples of biometric identification. The way your head moves, the veins beneath your face, your word usage and how you type as well as voice patterns can all be biometrics as well.
Facial recognition biometrics is improving and gaining wider adoption.
Biometrics have now primarily either been used: by security services and law enforcement, by hospitality companies especially ones such as casinos, for access control in buildings and for authentication for bank accounts and the like.
Apple’s TruDepth camera components on the iPhone X.
Why is biometrics all of a sudden very relevant? Apple has recently launched FaceID on the iPhone X. The company has bought several 3D scanning start ups and essentially turned the new iPhone into a 3D scanner through TruDepth Camera. Through this 3D scanner FaceID will be used to biometrically identify people for transactions on the iPhone. Biometric data is therefore slated to go from a niche concern to something that millions of people use every day. Other phone companies have or are in the process of integrating 3D scanning and biometric facial scanning into their devices as well.
Mass customization based on biometric data
Biometric mass customization is happening at scale in implantology, dental and in hearing aids. In these areas millions of mass customized individual devices are being made based on 3D scans and individuals biometric data. We will look at these cases in a separate blog post. In consumer products biometric customization is currently rarer. With the iPhone becoming a scanner and biometric data gathering device this is all about to change however.
Hoya and Materialise’s Yuniku Mass Customized 3D Printed Eyeglasses
Japanese optics company Hoya and 3D printing company Materialise have joined forces to make customized 3D printed glasses bases on 3D scans. The biometric data from the facial 3D scan is used to position lenses accurately for the user. The glasses can also be customized to the person’s liking.
3D scanning for 3D printed Insoles and Orthotics
A Wiiv mass customized insole.
One rapidly expanding area is 3D printed insoles. A 3D scan is used to make a unique mass customized insole. Because this insole is 3D printed not only can it fit the user perfectly but it can be optimized to respond to a particular walk, weight, corrective issue or tread. Companies such as Feetz, Sols, Podfo, FitStation, TailoredFits, Footprint3D, Resa, Wiiv and Superfeet are all entering this market. We believe that 3D printed custom insoles and orthotics will be the next area where 3D printing makes its breakthrough.
Stan a Mass Customized Desk
Besides 3D scanning there are also simpler ways to take biometric data and turn it into a custom product. Our very own Stan Standing Desk shows you how with a few clicks and measurements of yourself, you can make a unique desk optimized for you.