A Japanese company will 3D scan your entire person and print a miniature full-colour replica.
3D printing is quickly becoming a quick, inexpensive (relatively), and accessible way to manufacture everything from replacement beaks for injured eagles, jaws for actual people, parts for the military, and prosthetics used in real-world situations. The average grade-schooler may soon have one of these 3D printers in their classroom as well.
At my non-Sync job, we use 3D printing to test out the prototypes of the products we’re creating. Looking at CAD drawings only gets you so far and for certain things, it’s necessary to put it on a human being to see what it looks like, how it fits, etc.
Now, as part of a photography exhibit in Tokyo running until January 14th, 2013, a company is using a full-body 3D scanner to take scans of customers and create intricately detailed, full-colour, miniature 3D replicas. (Unfortunately, the site is in Japanese: http://www.omote3d.com/.)
The replicas are available in three different sizes: 10 cm (3.9”), 15 cm (5.9”), or 20 cm (7.8”), with prices ranging from approximately $260 CAD (¥21,000) for the 10 cm to $518 CAD (¥42,000) for the 20 cm replica (using today’s JPY/CAD exchange rates). There is also a discount if 3 or more identical replicas are purchased.
The subject is required to hold a pose for 15 minutes inside the scanner and receives the replicas about a month later. To have their likeness captured, they are also not allowed to wear fur, shiny materials like patent leather, or have accessories that are too detailed for the scanner to capture or the printer to replicate (keep in mind that everything is shrunk down so an earring would be a tiny dot).
If having your photo taken at a booth in the mall, which is then thermal printed onto canvas is the past (I think my parents still have the print somewhere), then surely 3D-printed replicas are the future – once they get the printing time down. For now, people who want replicas of themselves will have to make-do with custom bobble heads and life-like dolls.