Blogging serendipity strikes again – when talking about the “Earth Brooches” from Fluid Form the other week, I made a throwaway comment about near-future costume-parties where everyone would be dressed with a photorealistic mask of whichever celebrities had licensed their faces for such commercial use (and, doubtless, a fair few who hadn’t).
Well, turns out that wasn’t the weirdest idea I’ve ever had… or at least that I’m not the only person to have it. Via Fabbaloo comes word of a service calling itself That’s My Face!, which does exactly that – send them a couple of photos of your face (or, presumably, anyone else’s), and they’ll turn them into a 3D image before printing them off in a variety of different sizes and formats, from a full-size life-mask portrait to a custom-made posable action figure (no, really). They even offer the facility to mess with the images, changing the apparent age, gender or race of the subject.
Obviously, That’s My Face’s products aren’t going to fool the border guards of your local totalitarian state or the security systems of your rogue cybernetics corporation at the moment, but they’re a proof-of-concept for realistic full-face masks based on photographs… and another chunk chipped away from the notion of visual appearance having any solid bearing on identity. So much for photographic ID, huh?
It strikes me that with a few advances in materials as well as 3D printing, the next evolution of this technology could be a sort of non-permanent cosmetic surgery – go in to the clinic, have your face scanned, make some adjustments with the help and advice fo the friendly consultant, and then have your modified features sprayed on top of the ones you were born with. When you get bored with it, wash it off with the supplied solvent and head back for your new face-of-the-week…