In the 1870s you needed to be a big shot to have your portrait taken, and in the 1970s you needed to star in something made by 20th Century Fox to have an action figure of yourself. But here in 2012, technology has advanced to combine those things for the average consumer.
On November 24th, Eye of Gyre, an art exhibition space in Tokyo's Harajuku neighborhood, is pulling the sheets off of their 3D Shashin-kan. Literally translated as "3D Picture Space," it's what they're calling the world's first 3D-printing photo booth. Visitors can have their "portraits" taken in the form of whole-body scanning, and end up with a detailed figurine of them in 10-, 15- or 20-centimeter heights, depending on how much they'd like to pay.
Instant gratification this ain't, as the figurines will take a month or more for fulfillment and delivery. (We're guessing that they need to clean up the scan, and that an artisan paints the colors on after printing.) There's also a capturing restriction similar to when daguerrotypes were first developed: The subject must remain completely still during the scanning process, which is six minutes in this case, meaning Fido-san and small children are not ideal capture subjects. Beyond that, reflective clothes, wire-rim eyeglasses, hoop earings, fine patterns, and fur are all no-nos, because these either muck with the scanning process or are impossible to faithfully reproduce under their system.
Visitors will need to sign up in advance here, but you'd better hurry: The exhibition closes on January 14th, and the slots are filling up quickly.
via spoon & tamago