Estonian firm's 3D photo pod promises personalized VR avatars

November 15, 2016 9:04 AM EST

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By David Mardiste

TALLINN (Reuters) - For gamers fed up with being just another avatar when playing with their friends, an Estonian firm has come up with a photo booth that creates a 3D image of your face.

At Wolfprint 3D's white egg-shaped pod in a suburban shopping mall in Tallinn, six cameras and a touch screen allow people to create a high resolution 3D face and enter the increasingly personalized world of virtual reality (VR).

By 2017, Wolfprint aim to make getting a personalized avatar into games as quick and easy as changing clothes or equipment in existing games and interactive VR platforms.

But unlike other 3D scanning, which usually involves a full body scan and requires a trip to a studio at a cost of some $500, the Luna Scanner can be installed almost anywhere.

For now, the scans in the Tallinn booth are offered for free as the company tests the unit and collects biometric data.

Minutes after the photo is taken, a link to the 3D image is sent to the user's nominated email account and can be viewed on a VR viewer app on a mobile phone.

And at a science museum in Helsinki a Luna Scanner allows people to almost instantly put their faces on a virtual astronaut and start exploring VR space.

Wolfprint 3D plans to mass produce its distinctive booths and expand beyond existing sites in New York, Finland and Estonia to theme parks and exhibitions on the U.S. East Coast.

"Every person needs a unique 3D avatar of themselves for VR to truly become social", Wolfprint 3D's co-founder Kaspar Tiri told Reuters.

(Editing by Alexander Smith)



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