Visualisation of the Quantified Self

Part 1 – Capturing the body in 3D

The Quantified Self is a movement that started in 2007 by Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly, as a collaboration of users and tool makers that shared an interest in “self knowledge through numbers”. Within this movement people have been subjecting themselves to regimes of quantitative measurement and self-tracking that go far beyond the ordinary, familiar habits such as stepping on a scale every day. Using technology to collect, store and analyse their own life data to improve quality of life, is at the core of this movement. In the 2014 Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, Quantified Self (QS) was shown as an “Innovation Trigger” and expected to reach the “Plateau of Productivity” within 5 to 10 years.  

Capture the Self in 3D
3D scanners were about to reach the Plateau of Productivity and are currently being utilised across various of industries ranging from medical, entertainment and manufacturing. 3D scanning is the process of analysing a real-world object or environment to collect data on its shape and construct a digital 3D model.  

In the context of QS, 3D scanners are used to capture the human body in 3D to visualise the body shape for fitness and wellness purposes.

For this purpose Global Scanning, the international leader in scanning technologies partnered up with QuantaCorp to create Shapewatch, a body scanner and visualisation solution that allows its users to scan their body, monitor key biometrics and see their body shape in 3D and augmented reality.

Shapewatch will gradually enable its users to build up their digital self in the most holistic way, providing them with an increased awareness of their body and mind.

As Gary Wolf explained in this TED talk, “new tools are changing our sense of self in the world, but instead of treating these tools as pointing outward, as windows, we should think of them as turning inward and becoming mirrors. Think about using them for self-improvement, self-discovery, self-awareness, and self-knowledge.”


  1. Quantified Self Research Network
  2. Gartner Newsroom
  3. Quantified Self Institute

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Shapewatch™ is a brand of Global Scanning A/S
the market leader in scanning technologies