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AOMS TOT jr Info

As the AOMS TOT scanning approach prevails after years of enhancement, we are now introducing the AOMS TOT jr. It is a new member in the AOMS TOT family. The AOMS TOT app is used on iPad with the Structure Sensor attached, while the AOMS TOT jr is operated on iPhone or iPad without any external attachments. It makes a much smaller and more reliable hardware.

With the emergence of the TrueDepth® camera in the iOS devices, we are now able to use this newest technology in the orthotic industry. Together with the systematic setup we developed for foot scanning, AOMS TOT jr aims to give foot professionals a versatile tool to acquire 3D contour of the plantar surface of the foot. Special considerations regarding ‘neutral position casting’ were taken into account during our development.

This app was developed with iPhone XR and iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd Gen). The initial version 1.0 of AOMS TOT jr was developed solely based on iPhone XR. The later version 2.0 was developed based on iPhone XR and iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd Gen). Version 2.0 is a much more enhanced version. Details can be found in this PDF. If you are not sure whether your hardware is compatible with the AOMS TOT jr or not, please contact us for a compatible hardware list through email (at the end of this page).

The 3D OBJ files generated from the app are meant to be used in the AOMS systems to have foot orthotics made. A partial AOMS-Labs list can be found here.

This app is available only in the App Store for iPhone and iPad. Make sure you have the TrueDepth camera on your device.

A Noticeable Advantage of Using the AOMS TOT jr

Besides the obvious advantage of being standalone without external attachment, there is an advantage that users may over look with the AOMS TOT jr. It is understandable if they haven’t tried the AOMS TOT jr. Let's discuss it. Please refer to the following photo. For scanning a patient’s foot when the person is in supine position, you can turn the iPad upside down (head down) as shown below. In this position, the camera is at the lower end of the iPad. What’s good about it? Well, you do not have to bend over to catch the data around the foot, especially around the heel, and you can still watch the screen with an angle while scanning. The voice control feature in our AOMS TOT jr app can help you navigate through the scanning process more easily.

AOMS TOT jr is used upside down

Holding the iPad upside down (head down) while scanning a foot

Initially we thought the fact that the TrueDepth camera is at the front side of the iPhone or iPad is a big disadvantage for what we are doing. Through our AOMS TOT jr app’s special design and our R&D, we turn this disadvantage into our favor. With the AOMS TOT jr, the scanning focus distance is set at an arm length, which is good for foot scanning. Remember that the minimum focus distance of the Structure Sensor is longer than what we prefer, because it is not designed solely for foot scanning. Neutral-position scanning becomes possible now, if you wear the iPhone or iPad on your waist belt and put the iPhone or iPad upside down (head down). The voice control feature in our AOMS TOT jr app can help you navigate through the neutral-position scanning process. The following photo demonstrates how it works. We believe this is the first wearable foot scanner of its kind.

AOMS TOT jr is operated in wearable mode

Wearing the iPhone upside down (head down) while scanning a foot

Foot in neutral position can be scanned with the traditional Sharp Shape USB foot scanner which is gradually replaced by the iPad and iPhone scanners for their portability. At the same time we encounter some big challenges. To scan a foot with the iPad and the Structure Sensor attached when the patient is in supine position, the doctor has to scan the foot with eyes watching the screen behind the iPad. He/she often has to bend over, knee down, and do some awkward maneuvering in order to catch the data around the heel. Many times, the data around the heel is insufficient. The problem is more pronounced when the foot is plantar-flexed. It is almost impossible to free the two hands of the doctor while scanning a foot with the Structure Sensor setup. So neutral-position scanning is almost impossible without a second person or a supporting device to help. To scan a foot with the iPad and the Structure Sensor attached when the patient is in supine position, an usual position and orientation of the iPad is shown in the illustration below.

Sharp Shape USB Foot Scanner vs iPad Scanner

For comparisons: a foot is being scanned with an USB scanner and a Structure Sensor

From the angle of the iPad above, one can imagine: if the TrueDepth camera is located at the back-facing side of the iPhone or iPad, the way we scan the foot with the AOMS TOT jr is the same way we scan the foot with the Structure Sensor and the AOMS TOT which is a somewhat awkward. With the AOMS TOT jr, the doctor now can monitor both the screen and the foot at the same time in an arm-reaching distance. This is a big advantage that AOMS TOT jr has.

Tutorial & App links: Sharp Shape System Icon Apple App Store Icon


Precautions with this new technology

Some basic requirements as dependencies need to be satisfied before you purchase the AOMS TOT jr app. First, you need to find an orthotic lab which can make orthotics for you through this approach. If they are not sure, you can ask the lab to contact Sharp Shape regarding this approach. Second, this app was developed with the most popular iPhone XR in the iPhone X family with WiFi and with the iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd Gen). Other members in the iPhoneX family and in the iPad Pro family have not been tested by us, so we do not recommend using them now. More tests will be made in future. Third, it is just the beginning of this approach. We will continue to enrich it along with time. It may be more suitable for you to wait until the technology further matures, so take it into consideration.

Q&A

The following is made in the Q&A fashion, so important and specific questions can be answered in an efficient way.

Q: What AOMS TOT jr is for (the intended audience)?
A: AOMS TOT jr is for foot professionals to scan patients’ feet to have foot orthotics made.

Q: Are the basic principles behind AOMS TOT jr and AOMS TOT the same?
A: Yes and no depending on the tech field. The principles behind the TrueDepth® camera and the Structure Sensor® are the same and they all came from the primeSense technology. AOMS TOT jr and AOMS TOT use similar 3D extraction technology, known as SLAM. AOMS TOT jr uses Apple’s new Metal graphical programming language and AOMS TOT uses the traditional OpenGLES.

Q: Why we only use iPhone XR and iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd Gen)?
A: We have only tested the iPhone XR and the iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd Gen) during our development. iPhone XR is the most popular one in the iPhone X family and it has the lowest cost. We need to test all of them individually to make sure they have adequate accuracy. This is the beginning of our work and we still need time to test others.

Q: Any drawbacks with the current setup?
A: Our opinion has changed since we enhanced our app recently. Initially, we thought for our application, we wish the TrueDepth® camera is located at the back side of the iPhone, but the unfortunate reality is that it is located at the front side and we could not change this fact. The original purpose of the TrueDepth® camera was used to scan faces. Right now, for a foot in supine position, we can turn the iPhone or iPad upside down and make the scan comfortably. The current drawback with AOMS TOT jr is to scan foot in prone position. In that case, you need to use a mirror frame and it is not readily available now.

Q: How do you deal with the challenge of ‘TrueDepth® camera is only at the front’?
A: As explained in the above, the situation has changed to our favor. If you need to scan a foot in prone position, one of the approaches we have experimented is to use a mirror attachment on the iPhone XR with our AOMS TOT jr. This mirror frame can turn the view 90 degrees. Also, as pointed out in the following, we do not need the mirror frame when the iPhone is used in the ‘wearable style’.

Q: How to use the AOMS TOT jr?
A: It is an iPhone XR app and it is extended to iPad Pro recently. It mainly operates in two modes, i.e. the no-mirror mode such as wearable style and the mirror mode such as hand-held style. With the wearable style, you will need a fixture to attach the iPhone XR to your waist belt. This way, your two hands are free and you can use your hands to hold patient foot. Thus the ‘neutral position’ scanning is very possible (practice is needed). During this process, the scanner can be controlled by your voice. With the mirror mode, you will need a mirror fixture attached to your iPhone XR and use your hands to hold the iPhone XR to scan patient foot, which is like the AOMS TOT.

Q: Can we do neutral-position foot scanning without the aid of an extra device?
A: This is the foremost consideration when we make this technological development. Because of the above mentioned merits of the iPhone X series, it becomes possible. The way we can think of is to attach the iPhone to the waist belt on the operator. To assist the possibility, when the operator’s two hands are holding the foot we use voice to control the scanning process as an option. In this aspect, AOMS TOT jr fills some voids of AOMS TOT. We want to hear your feedback in your experiments in this regard.

Q: Besides the above method, can we use other methods to scan feet?
A: We threw a lot of considerations into it. We have multiple ways to scan patient feet. Making the iPhone wearable is one of the considerations. Also, with the above mentioned mirror attachment, you can watch the iPhone screen while scanning patient foot. There may be other ways to use AOMS TOT jr. Please let us know what you can think of.

AOMS TOT jr is operated in mirror mode

AOMS TOT jr is operated in mirror mode, hand-held style


Q: Can I scan a pair of patient feet and send the two images with order together?
A: Yes, it can be done in AOMS TOT jr. It was not implemented in AOMS TOT. Some customers asked for this feature and now we made it available in AOMS TOT jr. This can be considered an improvement. In this aspect, AOMS TOT jr fills some voids of AOMS TOT.

Q: What files will be created and be sent?
A: The files include the 3D contours of the two feet, the text file with brief ordering information and the JPG files of the two feet.

Q: How the files are sent out from iPhone XR?
A: Currently we use email to send the files. We may add the DropBox capability in future. At this stage we are concentrating on the scanning portion.

Q: Do we still have a local copy of the images and the order in the iPhone?
A: Yes, the files are accessible through the iTunes as in AOMS TOT.

Q: What the 3D file format is?
A: Right now, it is a proprietary file format and the files are indented to be used in AOMS labs to make foot ortothese. The files can be viewed and processed in AOMS labs. If you are not sure whether you can utilize this technology, you can contact some of the labs first, before you are committed to this approach.

Q: Where do I get the mirror frame?
A: You can have it 3D-printed through a third-party or buy it from us. We made it with a special ‘first-surface-reflection’ mirror. Regular mirrors have two reflection surfaces, which may contribute to inaccuracy. Contact us for details.

Q: Where do I get the waist-belt attachment?
A: You have to buy it or make it by yourself. We just temporarily used a generic Smartphone clamp. There are many kinds. We can give your some references.

Q: How to activate the scanning process through AOMS TOT jr?
A: You can use iPhone’s touch screen to control the scanning process. Further, we used a new technology, i.e. ‘voice recognition’ to assist the scanning process. Because AOMS TOT jr is a voice-activated device, just yell at it during the scanning process, if it doesn't do alright! It won't shout back. However, you are limited to several words though, like ‘go scanner’, because AOMS TOT jr can only understand certain words.

Q: Does the voice in the room trigger the actions in the scanner?
A: It may. You may avoid conversation during the scanning process. However, false-triggering will not do much harm, because you can always do a re-scan by shouting ‘reset’.

Q: Is AOMS TOT jr a true 3D scanner?
A: Yes it is. It utilizes the TrueDepth® camera inside iPhone XR and applies the math of SLAM (Simultaneous Localisation And Mapping) to the depth data to create a 3D model.

Q: How data from TrueDepth® and regular camera are compared?
A: Although we can extract ‘3D’ data from a picture or pictures of a regular camera, it is hard if possible to get comparable accuracy as TrueDepth® camera does. The following picture shows a comparison.

Comparison of depth data from TrueDepth and regular cameras

Comparison of depth data from TrueDepth and regular cameras. Courtesy of Serenity Caldwell


Q: Can we scan plaster casts and foam boxes?
A: In theory, it can be done, but it has not been tested. We need to set up the casts on table or on floor and may turn them vertical, and we need to test which way can scan the casts comfortably. As mentioned above, the challenge is that the TrueDepth® camera is only at the front. Even with the mirror, it is hard to scan a cast lying on the floor.

AOMS TOT jr can be used in multiple ways

AOMS TOT jr can be used in multiple ways


Q: Do I have to contract a phone service provider?
A: No, you don’t have to. In fact, we did our R&D on AOMS TOT jr without a provider. We did not use cellular phone signal. Instead, we used WiFi signal to send out emails with the AOMS TOT jr files attached to them. However, we are guessing: if you have a phone service on your iPhone XR, you most likely able to send emails through cellular phone signal when you are out of your office, but we have not tried it.

Q: Do I need to do some training / tests before I use it on real patients?
A: We highly recommend you practice your skills and do some tests before you use AOMS TOT jr in real cases. Our systematically designed tutorial courses enable you to grasp the core skills on operating the AOMS TOT jr in short period of time.

Q: Where do I find an AOMS lab which may take the images from the AOMS TOT jr?
A: Many labs have already got our AOMS TOT processing/conversion software. With just an upgrade from us, they can process/convert the files generated from the AOMS TOT jr. If they do not know this fact, you can ask them to contact Sharp Shape. To find such a lab, you can this page on our website. Not all AOMS labs are listed there.

Q: What permissions do I give to the iPhone XR in order to use the app?
A: The app will need permissions of using the camera, the voice recognition through microphone, and the motion sensor.

Q: What is the company privacy policy?
A: You can find it over here.

Q: How fees are charged with using AOMS TOT jr?
A: The fee is very much the same as in AOMS TOT. The user buys the iPhone and the app. Please contact us for more details.

Q: What are the pros and cons with AOMS TOT jr?
A:
The pros are:
Comparing iPhone XR with the iPad + Structure Sensor, the iPhone XR is much smaller, more portable and more versatile. Without an assisting device, AOMS TOT is almost impossible to be used with ‘neutral position’ scanning, but it is very likely with AOMS TOT jr. Two devices, i.e. iPad and the Structure Sensor are replaced by one device, i.e. iPhone XR. As being so, the maintenance is much easier since you only have one device to charge, to carry, to store and to maintain. The hardware reliability is higher because the possible failing parts are shrunk from two devices into one device. There might be other advantages, but we have not experienced them yet. For example, in theory, being an iPhone, it should be able to send emails when you are out of a WiFi area. So you can scan a patient foot when you are out of town. We have not test it yet since our iPhone is only used with WiFi and we do not have a phone service on this iPhone.
The cons are:
The resolution of AOMS TOT jr is not as high as AOMS TOT. Note that for our application, such resolution is still okay. The AOMS TOT jr is not well tested compared with AOMS TOT and you may see tech issues. The AOMS TOT jr app has limited features, like color, texture, flexible views, and file format. The current features only satisfy the need of 3D data of the plantar surface of the foot for making orthotics. Without a third-party SDK, Sharp Shape is behind this technology and Sharp Shape is a very small business, but Sharp Shape has been in this field for a long time.

Sharp Shape always innovates. Thirty years ago, almost every podiatrist used plaster bandages to cast patient’s feet and almost every orthotic lab used plaster slurry to pour foot molds. Right now, many podiatrists use 3D scanners and almost every decent orthotic lab is using some kind of automation system, and in large, plaster molds have been replaced by the MDF, which is Medium Density Fiberboard. Among these systems, AOMS is the biggest player. AOMS system is the pioneer of using the MDF in the orthotic manufacturing.

During each and every economic downturn in our 28-year history, we have more time to spend on our R&D. As result something new comes out, which often changes the way we make foot orthotics. There is no exception during this coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic season. We just upgraded our ‘AOMS TOT jr’ so the iPad Pro's with the TrueDepth® cameras can be used.

Years ago when we introduced AOMS TOT, we pointed out why we did not have it available on iPhones. It was kind of regret. Now we filled this gap. Not only that, we can use the iOS devices with the TrueDepth® by themselves without an external device attached. With this development, you may own a versatile foot scanner in the palm of your hand. It is still the beginning of a new application. If you are not so sure, please contact Sharp Shape before making purchase. Please continue to read for more details.

Please let us know if you have any questions. Our email address is listed in the homepage of our website.

'TrueDepth®' is Apple's Registered Trademark
‘Structure Sensor®’ is Occipital's Registered Trademark
‘AOMS® is Sharp Shape’s Registered Trademark

Contents on this page are subject to change without notice. Please visit again to check the update. Updated on July 23, 2020

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