Thirty years ago comprehending the 21st October 2015 @ 07.28 as a real date and time was quite a difficult concept for many a fan of the film 'Back to the future'. It was for me.
In fact it has been a bit of a shock realising that it is now 21st October 2015, and I am sat here wondering just how three decades of my life have vanished so quickly. As I write this, a version of the hoverboard is a reality, 3D films are the norm, and whilst we are not running our cars on banana skins and beer (yet), we do have biodiesel. We still need roads.
Today: science fiction, tomorrow: reality
Films and scifi television shows are partly responsible for inspiring us to develop future technologies. A classic example of this is the personal communicator used by Captain James T Kirk and his crew on the USS Enterprise. Motorola played homage to this iconic piece of Star Trek equipment when it released its 'StarTAC' clamshell mobile phone in January 1996. Motorola subsquently sold 60 million units of the StarTac.
On 3rd April 2010 Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple iPAD, 18 years after Star Trek's PADD made its television debut. (We believe that Next Generation Captain, Jean-Luc Picard, first used a PADD in 'Relics', Episode 4, Season 6, which aired on 12 Otctober 1992.)
Star Trek also introduced the idea of body scans for medical reasons, and we now have CAT scans (computerized axial tomography) that creates an internal image of a body using several x-ray images. Body scanning is used in other fields too – in the fashion world. Although it might not seem like it, the concept of scanning a whole body is not entirely new. Selfridges in London began offering this service in 2011, however the accuracy of the scan was not always what it could be. This has increased significantly in recent years.
It seems utterly fitting therefore that today – a 'back to the future' day – that Fourth Element launch a brand new concept in the field of drysuits. It sounds like a castle in the air idea, in fact it is reality. Personal 3D body scanning that produces a bespoke drysuit.
Why would you want to have a 3D scan of your body? Think about it for a moment. When I buy a dress I will pluck a size 14 off the rail and put it on. Another girl in the same changing room can be a size 14 too, however it is likely she will have a different hip shape, torso length and bust measurements to me. Yet we will probably both fit the same size 14 dress. I say 'probably' because the dress has been designed to fit a certain size 14 model, so it is possible it won't fit perfectly at key areas, ie the armhole, the bust or the hip area. And the same principle will apply when purchasing an off-the-peg drysuit. Hence I have always been a firm advocate of diving a made to measure drysuit. This tool helps me do my job. Why on earth would I not want to dive the most comfortable, best fitting drysuit I can get my hands on?
Today Fourth Element confirmed that they have brought the process of creating a bespoke drysuit into the 21st century. Just imagine that you don a set of base layers before simply stepping into a booth. In less than five minutes you are scanned from head to toe. The resulting accurate measurements are used to create a unique pattern for your new drysuit, or confidently tell you what size drysuit you need. Bye bye guess work. No more tape measures. Just an accurate, fast scanning process that is truly personal.
What is even cooler is that once this scan has been done, a pattern for your specific suit could begin cutting almost immediately. With your new bundle of joy (a Fourth Element drysuit designed to fit you perfectly) landing on your doorstep just a few weeks after that. Personally I can't wait to see this in action. Fourth Element's BIOMAP gets unveiled at DIVE.2015 and the Orlando DEMA Show.
Can't help but wonder, what would Doc Brown would make of it all?!