3D length measurement with a smartphone

One of the projects we spent a lot of time on this year is the development of computer vision software that can make a 3D scan with a smartphone to determine a person’s height. Together with Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Willem Jan Gerver of the Maastricht University Medical Center and app developer YipYip we have been working hard the last few months to make it possible for patients to do length measurements at home. We can now share the first results of this 3D length measurement by showing you how it works in the movie below!

How does it work?

You can make a 3D scan by walking 180 degrees around a person. The images are then sent over a secured line to a high security webserver. The software we developed uses algorithms that can turn these images into 3D points. When the 3D image has been created they are automatically made anonymous and the original images are deleted. With the 3D image our software can take all kinds of measurements. A 3D image created with a phone looks like this:


The goal of this software is to make it easier for parents of children with a growth deficiency to do an objective length measurement and immediately share it with their pediatrician. At this moment it takes 4 hospital visits a year and some of these visits are purely for a length measurement. Measuring at home with a traditional measuring rod is not accurate enough to get a good idea of growth over a year. With this application both parent and children get more control and feedback about the effect of the treatment and this should reduce travel time and anxiety as well.

Current status

For now in lab testing the results of a 3D length measurement seem to be on par with a traditional stadiometer (measuring rod) when measured by a physician or nurse. But the 3D technology does require the patient to stand relatively still and that there is enough space to move around with the phone. Therefore there is currently being checked if there is a way to make it easier for example by performing the length measurement on normal pictures. This gives less information about the anatomy of the patient, but should be easier to use.

More information

At Studio diip we are working more often with 3D computer vision project lately. In this project we create 3D models by using normal smartphone images, but we can also create them using special 3D cameras, LiDAR systems and other technologies. We also often work on apps for iOS and Android by adding a piece of computer vision software to them for the app developers to use. The actual app and interface itself is something we don’t usually make, we’d rather leave that to specialized companies like YipYip who are very skilled at this. If you’d like to know more about the possibilities of 3D computer vision or image recognition in apps, take a look at our website or contact us to make an appointment and see these things for yourself.