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3-D Face Replicas That Put Madame Tussaud To Shame

Japanese company REAL-f is touting a likeness-making technology that’s accurate down to the individual blood vessel.

3-D Face Replicas That Put Madame Tussaud To Shame

What are you dressing up for Halloween as this year? If you can get your hands on one of Japanese company REAL-f‘s crazy-accurate face replicas, you can go as an uncanny valley version of yourself!

The company calls these replicas “3DPFs,” or “3D photo forms,” and you can get them in a masklike form (for $3,920) or a mannequinesque full-head model (for $5,875). It’s true- the photos of the masks do look unnvervingly accurate. I mean, sure, they still look like dead-eyed pod people but no more so than the average wax model at Madame Tussaud’s. The company claims that its fabrication process (which, according to TechCrunch, shoots pictures of a person’s face from various positions and imprints the image on vinyl chloride resin stretched over a mold”) captures a true likeness down to the level of iris pigmentation and the position of tiny skin flaws and blood vessels in the face.

Aside from the enormous creep factor, what on earth is the use case for these artifacts? Outside of the entertainment and film-production sectors, it’s hard to imagine any. Perhaps they’d be useful for a peculiar sort of telecommuting boss who wants not just to patrol the office in a remote controlled robot, but also affix a death-mask likeness of himself to it as well. Are you reading this, writers of The Office? You can have that one for free.

[Read more about REAL-f]

About the author

John Pavlus is a writer and filmmaker focusing on science, tech, and design topics. His writing has appeared in Wired, New York, Scientific American, Technology Review, BBC Future, and other outlets.



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