One of the earliest 3D body scanning systems was a shadow scanning method developed by the Loughborough University in the UK, the Loughborough Anthropometric Shadow Scanner-LASS-(Jones et al., 1989). This system was developed and used to digitize the human body, but it was necessary to manipulate the data in order to take body measurements from the scan. The original shadow scanning methods are different from other conventional structured lighting approaches since they require very little hardware besides a camera, a desk-lamp, a pencil and a checkerboard. LASS was an automated, computerized 3D measurement system based on triangulation, where the subjects stood on a rotating platform that was turned 360º in measured angular increments. Brooke-Wavell et al. (1994) compared anthropometric measurements taken with LASS with measurements taken using traditional anthropometry and concluded that they were similar. For women, statistical differences were found between various measurements (neck and chest circumferences, waist width, depth and height), whilst for men a significant difference
With the diffusion of digital devices for body scanning, the science of anthropometry gained a new powerful tool that allows deeper investigations on the human body shape. The new digital shape analysis tools allow rethinking the anthropometry science since, in the digital environment, the measurements are not limited to the traditional one dimensional ones, and instead it is possible to have complex geometrical features (i.e. curvatures and partial volumes). 3D body scanners have revolutionized anthropometric data acquisition, being more practical, accurate, fast and, when compared to traditional anthropometry, less expensive.