Body-mapping pods coming to every Westfield in Australia

Australian Westfield shopping centres will deploy body-mapping pods from mPort after taking a stake in the company.

In exchange for Scentre Group, the company behind Westfield shopping centres in Australia, promoting body-scanning pods from mPort to its retailers, mPort will part with a small equity stake.

The monetary terms of the deal were not disclosed; however, so far, the pods have been deployed in 13 Westfield centres across Australia.

Using infrared beams, the scanners are purported to track over 200,000 points on a consumer's body to create an avatar that is intended to be used to buy clothes or track changes over time.

"We see this as an opportunity to extend our reach and attract more major retail brands onto our platform," said mPort managing director and CEO Dipra Ray. "We have had a very strong response to the initial rollout of our pods, with queues forming as customers want to experience it for themselves."

"Over 40,000 people have already been measured, and these numbers are growing on average by 1,500 per week."

With an absence of exclusivity in the contract, mPort will be able to offer its pods to other customers.

"The product has many applications beyond fashion retailing including the health and fitness industry, so we believe there is potential for us to build a range of partnerships," Ray said.

Earlier today, the Australian government announced 20 local companies that collected between AU$1 million and AU$131,000 in a AU$7.3 million round of commercialisation grants.

Coming out with a AU$1 million grant was a virtual reality system named CADwalk from Jumbo Vision International, which allows users to walk through a representation of a control room, and modify the room as they go.

Among the other companies receiving funding were hemp seed extraction company Hemp Foods Australia, Kinetic manufacturing 3D printer firm Effusiontech, cloud company Insightus, and Bombora Wave Power, which makes a wave energy converter.

The funds were granted from the government's Entrepreneurs Program, an initiative that formed part of the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda released this time last year.

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