How do the Styku sensors capture the body in 3D?

Read on to learn the basics of how the sensors used in Styku body scanners work to capture 3D data of your body.

Important: This article refers to the Styku S100 model scanner. To determine which model scanner you own please view the following article:

Time of Flight

The Styku S100 scanner uses a Kinect One sensor by Microsoft. The Kinect is a "time of flight" infrared (IR) sensor.

If a particle of light is emitted from a fixed location and a sensor at that location receives the light as it bounces off of objects in front of the sensor and returns, it's possible to determine the amount of time it took for that particle to be emitted, bounce and come back to the starting point. If we know how much time ensued, and since the speed of light is constant, we can determine how far away the object must have been when the light particle bounced off of it. We can then use the distance to determine the shape and size of the object.

This is the basic concept of 'time of flight'. The Kinect emits IR light from the front of the tower, and sensors in the Kinect receive the 'bounced' light back, recording the "time of flight" from when it was emitted, to when it returned.

It's similar to the echolocation used by bats, or to sonar, except in this case we're using light instead of sound. Bats emit an ultrasonic sound that bounces off of objects (like moths or other tasty treats), and their ears are specially tuned to detect frequency changes to those sounds - just like the Kinect has IR sensors that read incoming light. The longer it takes for the echo of that sound to be heard by the bat, the further the object is away from it.

Turning Distance into 3D body scans

Now that you know the basic concept used by the Kinect and the S100 scanner, imagine this process being done hundreds of thousands of times in a fraction of a second, for very small sections of the body being scanned. Lots and lots of light particles are being emitted, and they are all being received back to the sensor after bouncing off of a tiny part of your body, many times per second. As the Styku software receives these thousands of data points, these distances, it combines them together to create a 'depth image', or a 3D picture, of a single angle of your body.

The Styku scanner takes roughly 850 of these images as your body rotates on the turntable. Because the images are taken as your body is rotating, we can create a full 3D copy of your entire body by combining the images. That's how it works!