What is an Avatar and why is it useful?


Typing the Italian word "Metaverso" on Google, you get 30 million results. If instead you opt for a search of the English term "Metaverse", the figure rises to 1,530 million.

There's no doubt, therefore, that “Metaverse” is a term and a concept in full media hype these days, and that for all those who talk about it, it takes on the sense of a coming future.

Up to this point, everyone agrees about what the Metaverse should be. The differences begin immediately afterwards, and to be precise on the definition of what this new dimension actually is. There are those who talk about it as something close to arrive and there are those who put their hands forward talking about a possible future but are still uncertain when and how it will be presented.

It remains to be seen. Mention the Metaverse is only necessary to clarify a first point of our research: if the future is moving in that direction, then we can be sure that also Avatar will be part of it. The reason is simple: just as a world without inhabitants cannot exist, a digital world -whatever it is- without Avatars living in it cannot exist. In short, let us get ready to the fact that eventually each of us will have an Avatar.

Avatars are to the Metaverse as people are to real life.




In conversations on the subject, the Metaverse is described more or less in the same way: a three-dimensional virtual space, accessible by anyone in the form of a digital person depicted with their likeness or other images or personalities.

A world in all respects, where you can meet, communicate, work, have fun, do everything you do in everyday life, but in the dimension of bits.

A new, virtual "reality", which stands alongside the real one. Word of Facebook, or rather of Meta, and of all the other great global Tech Companies.


The word “Avatar” may seem a modern term, but in reality, it was introduced more or less 2,300 years ago. The term can be traced back to the God Visnu who, having to descend to earth, decided to generate "Avatara", i.e. copies of himself in various aspects with which to access a dimension -the earthly one- different from his own.

The story comes to us from the Hindu religious mythology, which having defined it first gives us a valuable contribution to answer the basic question: what is an Avatar?

The Avatar is our Alter Ego, a copy of us that we need to access and perform activities in another dimension.

In fact, the function has remained the same: bring us into a reality other than the one we live in. The only difference with respect to Visnu is that the Avatar as we understand it today is a three-dimensional digital copy of the person, able to interact and live experiences within digital immersive spaces:

  • playing in videogames,
  • visiting virtual museums,
  • attending and buying in virtual stores,
  • partecipating in virtual meetings, events, conferences
  • and much more!

It may sound like science fiction but it is not entirely true and some of these things are already reality. For years, video games have been real Metaverses frequented by Avatar players, and within these, some brands such as Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton have already begun to set their fashion shows with digitized clothes worn by Avatar models. Balenciaga in Afterworld and Louis Vuitton in Leagues of Legend.

Even celebrities are not watching. Justin Bieber, for example, recently performed on Wawe in a virtual concert played by his Avatar remotely animated by the real Justin himself. Ariana Grande and Travis Scott are other examples of digital Alter Egos holding concerts in place of their real-life originals. And the list could go on.

Social Network

In the world of Social Networks, the phenomenon started even before music. Avatar influencers like Li Miquela have been around for a few years already, counting millions of followers on Instagram, “working” steadily creating, and interpreting content for the big fashion brands.

Smart working

The multiplication of Smart working and with it virtual meetings is giving a considerable boost to the creation of platforms that offer 3D meeting rooms in which Avatars of participants can conduct presentations and interact with each other, even if their "originals" are somewhere else in that moment

From all these perspectives, the picture of the present gives us the image of an increasingly physical-virtual world, where the boundary between the two dimensions appears every day more elastic and inclusive, open also to our digital bodies.

Avatars are not the future. Avatars are already among us.


It is common ground that the Avatar is our 3D digital "I" that allows us to interact in virtual reality, and that Fashion, Music, Business and Celebrities have already started the race to populate the net with their virtual copies. However, some questions remain open.

Probably the most interesting among these, for those who decide to create their own digital self, is whether there is only one form of Avatar or different types among which to choose.

The opinion on this point is common and shared by all observers: the Avatars that we can -and will- have today and in the near future will be of three different types.

Fantasy Avatar

The first of these is the fantasy Avatar. It is a digital copy of us that does not look like us in reality and makes us appear in the virtual world with a different figure and image.

The Avatar Hero that millions of players already use in their videogames are part of this category. In this particular perspective, each of us can choose who we want to be and how to appear, even taking on the appearance of different avatars depending on the virtual world in which we are at that moment, and the possibilities are virtually limitless.

So far so good and certainly the world of Avatar fantasy is destined to proliferate with Heroes of all kinds, but at the same time it is undeniable that exactly because of their ability to be anyone these types of Avatar cannot fulfil the task of transferring us in the virtual world as the people we actually are in our real life. In other words: Fantasy 1, Reality 0.

Caricature Avatar 

The second type is the caricature Avatar. You can define it with other terms but it is a virtual "person" that looks like us in a more or less marked way in the most obvious somatic aspects. We are not exactly us but it's an Avatar type that resembles us enough to be recognized.

Often it has a cartoon effect because, despite being three-dimensional, the image does not convey a realistic perception of the subject. These are the Avatars that you meet in virtual rooms and that identify those present remotely connected, or that appear in the personal profiles of social networks. Today it is possible to create this type of Avatar even through simple mobile apps, with results that may vary in final quality but that fail to effectively reproduce the real person in 3D in all its aspects.

Realistic Avatar 

The third type of Avatar changes the game: the Photogrammetric Realistic Avatar. Here the transposition of the real subject in 3D Avatar is total and occurs in every detail. With this type of Avatar, we are us, but made of bits. Our image, our somatic features, the colouring of our skin and hair, our posture: everything is reported from the physical dimension to the virtual one with millimetre precision.

The result is made possible by photogrammetry, the particular technology used to scan the real person. Hundreds of high-definition photos of the subject are taken from different perspectives and condensed into a single shot in this process. The images are then processed by a technological platform that recreates a 3D Avatar that is completely faithful to the original person. The world of cinema was the first to develop and use this technology, precisely because of the guarantee of realism in the reproduction of the subject that is able to offer. If you want to be exactly you but digital, the 3D Photogrammetric Avatar is undoubtedly the best option.

Of the 3 possible types today, the Photogrammetric Avatar is the only one able to reproduce the person in a realistic way and with absolute fidelity of detail.


Of all the body scanner booths we meet today, most probably The Gate is the one that best combines functionality with design, the result of the scanning process with the emotion of an unusual experience.

The Gate is a scanning booth designed on the shape of the human body, and the experience lived inside this particular futuristic "egg" is definitely innovating, starting from the Avatar assistant that welcomes and guides the user throughout the process. Inside, you are immersed in a bright white and surrounded by high definition photographic lenses. The process lasts a few minutes, and the actual scanning takes place in a single click, but the impression that remains when you exit is that of having taken a trip into the future for a moment.

A perfectly executed scan with photogrammetric technology produces as a result a virtual, photorealistic, three-dimensional reproduction of the person.

However, having reproduced the image does not necessarily mean having fully transferred the subject of the scan onto the digital plane. Especially if we want the resulting Avatar to become not only pleasant but also a useful tool for interacting in the virtual world, for example for online shopping. If this is the goal, then the image alone is not enough.

The reason is that our body is composed of different levels of information, and the image is certainly one of them. An important level, to which, however, must be added other information regarding measurements, physical conformation, body mass balance just to name a few. The combination of all these elements defines the uniqueness of each individual.

You only have to think about it to find out that we look for this information every time we evaluate something to wear, that we measure our physical state to evaluate a sport activity, or that we decide to modify it through a training program or a diet. This is the data that represents us at many junctures in real life, sometimes more than just the image.

Creating a 3D Avatar that can transfer the uniqueness of the real person and be useful for the virtual world means therefore to equip it - in addition to a perfect likeness - also with all this fundamental information.

The solution comes from the technological platform, which, together with The Gate, constitutes the advanced technological ecosystem Igoodi capable of generating these particular Photorealistic 3D Avatars.

By integrating the photogrammetric scanning with a series of other sensors, the system is able to detect, process and define a complete dataset of information that includes:

  • all the anthropometric measurements of the real person,
  • a complete analysis of their body shape,
  • a series of indices regarding fat mass, lean mass and body mass (BMI),
  • a size table derived from the physical measurements detected,
  • a range of Style and clothing recommendations customized to the specific body shape.

All of this constitutes a real Smart Body, which integrated with the photorealistic Avatar is finally able to transfer the real person in its entirety - and in its uniqueness - to its virtual alter ego.

Having a 3D, photorealistic Avatar integrated with the Smart Body represents today the highest level of quality and applied utility obtainable through one's own Avatar.

It allows you to "transfer" your digital body -identical to the real one- wherever you want, to remotely access products and services that would require physical presence, as in the case of a tailored suit. Or to do virtual shopping with one's own digital body equipped with the correct sizes and corresponding to the real body. As much as remotely accessing teleconsulting services to get a personalized service on your physicality.

The 3D Photorealistic Avatar integrated by Smart Body is today's most complete digital Alter Ego to interact in a useful way with the new virtual worlds and thus facilitate our real life.

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