An Australian company is making waves in markets from uniforms to retail apparel thanks to a unique and homegrown 3D scanning system and hopes to lead a new paradigm in accurate body measurement in the bargain. Article by Drew Turney.

Imagine all the things you could do with an accurate digital representation of your body. Bodd has, and the Melbourne-based company is putting it into practice.

It starts with a body-scanning turntable device, which creates a complete set of measurement data via a very user-friendly, non-intrusive process. The subject simply steps onto the scanner’s rotating platform, accesses the controls through a touch screen, stands with feet slightly apart and hands slightly away from the sides and rotates slowly for about a minute. Various optical lenses and data capture hardware devices then capture a broad and constantly expanding suite of possible anatomical detail.

Bodd is pursuing a range of applications and markets from the worlds of clothing and customised wearable garments, through to health-related information. In the uniform retailing sector, Bodd’s technology is disruptive to existing business models and is a lead field of application. The possibility of eliminating waste in the retail fashion and apparel sector has a very compelling environmental impact (more below).

Founders Rob Fisher and Dave McLaughlin were exposed to 3D body scanning in the custom tailoring business. They formed Bodd in 2017 with the knowledge they’d gained and set about building a robust and precise body data system – existing technologies like hand scanners just weren’t accurate enough.

The result was the Bodd 3D scanner, manufactured in Melbourne by Bosch Australia, with software and technology developed by Bodd in partnership with leading academic organisations like UTS, Swinburne University and RMIT.

Bodd Chief Operating Officer John Lake says implementing other sorts of measurements and further improving the scan is a high priority (in one example, the team is currently working on improving the scanning of feet). “We want to be known for having the best and most complete dataset around. It’ll let us add value or access different opportunities in a range of channels,” he says.

The scan produces a range of raw data files, from which partners can extract measurements depending on the channel or product.


But Bodd isn’t just a scanner maker, it’s a Software as a Service (SaaS) provider. The scan is pivotal, but Lake is just as effusive talking about the digital infrastructure Bodd deploys to manage what’s done with it afterwards.

Crucially, the process isn’t to share raw data files with partners, but let them get only what they need by giving their systems the means to interface with the data in the Cloud.

Such seamless integration with clients and partners is Bodd’s unique selling point. A little processing is done on board the scanner, but it’s all delivered, managed and synthesised into products and services in Bodd’s cloud platform. That also means updates to firmware and functionality can be pushed out to the entire scanner fleet immediately.

Obviously, body measurements are among the most personal data we have, so there are very serious privacy issues at stake. That’s the primary reason why Bodd doesn’t share the entire raw data set of a subject’s scan – the value proposition for partners is in being provided with just what they need.

“The whole topic of privacy and data security and the ownership of that data is extremely important,” Lake agrees. “We’re working with very significant people in the Privacy and Security space to make sure we are a safe and responsible data custodian for the person being scanned. Our systems are designed to implement emerging global best practice in privacy and security by design and default, including ensuring that scanned individuals understand and control how their measurements are used and shared. We have architected our data handling and user consent processes to empower users and so that we are ready to comply with new regulation of biometrics and data privacy in jurisdictions that we are targeting for in our international expansion.”

One such advisor is renowned data business lawyer Peter Leonard of Data Synergies and Chair of the Regulatory and Advocacy Working Group at The Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising. Leonard is one piece of the puzzle making sure Bodd’s entire infrastructure – from the user interface on the scanner, to the measurement data in the Cloud, to the user authorisation mechanism for sharing their measurements with suppliers that a user wants to deal with – is built to be clear and reliably trustworthy, as well as complying with the most exacting laws around the globe and meeting expectations of Bodd customers operating the scanners.

Bodd data ecosystem management works in practice by delineating data acquisition, transport and storage. After measurements are taken by the scanner, measurement data is not accessible by anyone – not even Bodd – until it’s fully uploaded to the secure Cloud platform, any residual information on board the scanner is removed after file transport.

Once there, Bodd’s Cloud architecture secures the data, letting only approved partner APIs interface with it for specific information. Imagine you walk into a major retailer or brand experience store and use their Bodd scanner for your best sizing. The resulting data is sent to Bodd’s Cloud, and the sales assistant uses their own sales or marketing system to request connectivity only with the elements of the data that will deliver your accurate size.



Bodd is concentrating so far on four major markets:

* Uniforms

In the uniform sector Bodd technology provides substantial cost advantages for uniform retailers. A single 60-second Bodd scan removes manual measurements and try-ons, and facilitates improvements to retailer core business processes by linking into enterprise software systems for more efficient order processing. Substantial cost savings can be achieved for both the retailer and lost time savings for their clients.

* Health

Bodd is a revolution for manufacturers of compression garments, or providers of fitness services. Bodd’s next gen body scan technology, offers the potential for custom compression garments to achieve precise compression regimes, and confer specific health and fitness-related properties. Differing compression regimes are required for travel, recovery, or performance sports. For providers of health and fitness-related services, an accurate 3D body scan can be used to complement fitness program development or achievement of goals.

* Custom Wearables

When it comes to customised wearable items such as protective wear for sports, or body armour for services personnel, the better the fit, the greater the benefits and performance. Bodd makes it possible to tailor customised wearable items to the individual with high levels of precision. An accurate body scan can provide the data necessary to allow new manufacturing technologies to be applied to the manufacture of customised wearables, opening up a new world of efficient and cost-effective mass customisation.

Lake talks about a North American sporting and equipment chain that has over 800 stores. It represents a very exciting market for a company offering accurate body scans because it allows the store to offer every customer who walks through the door protective garments on a custom basis.

* Fashion and Apparel

In April 2022 the Australian Bureau of Statistics said the clothing, footwear and personal accessory market in Australia was worth a little over $2.9bn – quite an opportunity for anyone dealing in body data.

Any time a shopper buys an outfit, the Bodd scanner provides a potential new level of engagement that gives them more confidence in the process. In one of Bodd’s pilot programs in Asia, people getting accurate size recommendations in store after being scanned doubled in store conversion rates. A retailer can then nurture a customer relationship across channels because – armed with accurate measurements – they’ll shop both in store and online with more confidence.

But the real killer app is waste reduction. According to Bodd, ecommerce apparel returns due to sizing issues is worth half a trillion dollars globally, with an additional $550bn spent on delivery and logistics for returns.

“There’s a terrible trend we see in online shopping where people aren’t certain about their size so they’ll buy a size above and a size below and return the ones they don’t want. It doesn’t cost them but it’s terribly damaging for the environment,” Lake says. “We see our solution as making a very strong green contribution to retail.”



The areas Bodd is targeting so far are only the beginning, and Lake and his colleagues are aware that accurate 3D body data could open countless new opportunities.

The company’s sizing algorithms can work together with machine learning to make better predictions of garment selection based on the measurements of subjects on a collective basis. Lake mentions possible futures of people having their measurements in secure digital wallets to release whenever they wish on an ad hoc basis for new apps with compelling body data services.

But whatever the future holds, Bodd is grasping it with both hands. It’s in negotiation with potential customers that might mean requirements for thousands of units in Australia and internationally – sales teams in the US and UK signal aggressive targeting in North America and Europe.

And for a next-gen, high tech product with accompanying digital infrastructure designed and built in Australia, that’s not bad.

Bosch Australia’s Manufacturing Solutions Group has a reputation as a leading supplier of automation and equipment solutions, more traditionally associated with large corporate enterprises and multinationals. Perhaps less known is their interest and deep involvement in supporting the success of Australian start-ups. To this point, Bodd as an agile and innovative small enterprise is benefitting strongly from the world’s best practice manufacturing expertise, processes, systems and engineering rigorousness that can be accessed via Bosch.