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Battelle licenses Unique Solutions' clothing scanner
28
Jun '11
Battelle has granted an exclusive license for a technology that will help clothing shoppers find better fitting clothes easily and quickly, as well as assess their overall fitness.

Unique Solutions Limited plans to revolutionize the apparel industry by introducing scanning kiosks near retail locations that provide quick and accurate sizing information. The kiosks will inform shoppers at no cost on the best fitting and most flattering styles from many of the largest brand name apparel lines.

Unique Solutions has launched this service at the largest retail shopping mall in the United States King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania. Additional installations are planned around the country and ultimately Unique Solutions is expected to have the largest database of body measurements in existence.

The 3-D body holographic technology employed in the kiosks is based on scanning technology initially designed to protect air travelers. The technology, which was developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., utilizes harmless millimeter waves that penetrate clothing and reflect off of the body, sending signals back to a transceiver.

The transceiver then sends the signals to a high-speed computer, which then can reconstruct them to create a visualization tool for security applications or compile a detailed series of body measurements for clothing fitting and health/wellness applications.

The PNNL-developed technology was previously licensed by Battelle for use in security applications and is currently being deployed by the Transportation Security Administration in airports across the United States, where it can rapidly identify hidden objects — including plastic, ceramic and other non-metallic weapons. It has its roots in three-dimensional holograph imagery created at PNNL in the 1970s for nondestructive evaluation of nuclear reactors. In 2004, the technology won the prestigious R&D Magazine's Editor's Choice Award as "Most Promising New Technology."

The scanning systems can also be used to quickly and accurately collect useful and relevant body measurement data during the scanning process. This data can then be used by the customer for a variety of purposes, including clothing fitting, but also eventually for helping individuals track their fitness and wellness goals.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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