Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Stand in the center of this circle, and the cameras and computer will produce a near perfect, almost scarily realistic representation of you.

It's a "Shapie" -- a sculpture of you thats a full-size figurine, or a representation of you that you can hold in your hand.

Artec, a company that already has cameras and scanning locations in 25 countries, makes them.

The scanner in this picture can create a Shapie of people, animals, and any other large object, in incredible detail in 5 to 15 minutes.

Artec uses 3D scanning to help doctors plan surgery and dentists to create orthodontic devices, like retainers. An anthropologist recently used an Artec scanner to create images of fossils in Kenya. In major cities, tailors use these scanners to make custom clothing that fits without any fittings.

Professional scanners can be bought for around $20,000. Other companies make Shapie-like scanners more cheaply, using a modified webcam that can be purchased for $500 to $100.

Even the inexpensive devices emit parallel beams of light that the computer examines and measures -- so if you're having Shapie made, don't wear anything that's wrinkled. Every single detail is seen and re created.

My husband, John Cullum and I have no need for selfies -- ten steps away, across the hall, there he is  -- frowning, concentrated, or smiling ready for a kiss. But Shapies ...?

Well, I can't figure out why we (or you) would  ever need a Shapie, but 3D devices -- printers and scanners -- wow -- they're a whole new magical world of WOW.

Hey, in Berlin they've already got Shapie booths where you can walk in and get one of yourself,  or your dog.


Stan said...

Pretty darn amazing Em.

Maryannwrites said...

Interesting. I think I would pass on the shapie of me, but my dog? Yeah, probably. LOL