What is VHL?

VHL Interior

VHL Interior © Toppan Inc.

"VHL" is an abbreviation for "Virtual Human Lab." A place for co-creation, VHL was established by Toppan Printing in the digital information hub of Akihabara to conduct research and application development related to the utilization of human biometric data. 

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Light Stage close-up

Light Stage close-up
© Toppan Inc.

Light Stage

The centerpiece of VHL, Light Stage is a system created through research and development by the University of Southern California (USC) for high-precision facial scanning. Light Stage images the face while controlling 346 light-emitting devices arranged inside a spherical dome, capturing not only form but even the texture of the entire face in high definition. VHL's Light Stage is the second instance of installation in Japan. The greatest advantage of Light Stage is its ability to capture skin texture information. Toppan Printing will leverage this capability in the development of information processing engines such as an optical simulator for printed surface layers.

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Processing into 3D computer graphics

Toppan Printing also plans to develop business for high-definition facial scanning and processing into 3D computer graphics. The entire process, from imaging to processing, can be completed at Virtual Human Lab. The created data can be viewed online with a proprietary viewer, and will later become available on smartphones.

3D computer graphics imaged using Light Stage
© Toppan Inc.

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Illustrative diagram of the Human Body Information Platform

Illustrative diagram of the Human Body Information Platform
© Toppan Inc.

Construction of the Human Body Information Platform

Toppan Printing will construct a Human Body Information Platform that draws on the company's activities at VHL.  This platform will enable the bulk recording and utilization of personal biometric data measured at Toppan Virtual Human Lab. In addition to facial scanning through Light Stage, Toppan will expand its biometric information database by improving technology for human biometric measurement including bodily (musculoskeletal) movements, hand/foot shapes, and other data, and will provide useful information to companies and individuals by developing information processing engines such as surface layer simulators and photo-realistic avatar production.