We got a close look at 3D Systems’ new “3DMe Photo Booth” at CES and found a lot more than we bargained for. The system is set up to transfer a 3D representation of a subject’s face onto any of several pre-made fun 3D character models.
We’ve seen the functionality of this before; 3D Systems and others have offered this type of service for over a year. But the 3DMe Photo Booth puts it all in a physical device.
It’s definitely a “photo booth”; you climb inside and sit in front of these six digital cameras, which take a simultaneous image of your face from slightly different angles. The software within the booth converts the images into a 3D model of your face – color included. This happens within minutes.
Then the interesting part happens. You get out of the booth and visit the back side where you’ll see a touch-screen control panel. You’ll see your 3D scan among others that have recently been completed. You can then select which figurine you’d like to paste your face on, with some ability to select poses, colors, hair style, etc. Then by entering your contact information, an order for a physical 3D print of the model is completed and the data is sent to 3D Systems’ cloud 3D printers for production.
The 3DMe Photo Booth provides a controlled environment where lighting and image quality are predictable, yielding terrific results every time. Often when submitting one’s own images to such services, results are not always great due to bad photography.
When discussing the market for the machine with 3D Systems’ CEO Avi Reichental, it became apparent that this is not intended for homes or industry. It’s really a device for shopping malls or events. It seemed that it would be offered for lease or purchase in the future.
We imagine the booth being pre-loaded with 3D character models specific to a situation, then setting up the booth at that event. The models match the situation.