Shapify: Make a 3D Replica of Yourself

October 6, 2014

11:00 am

A few years ago, receiving a 3D scanned version of yourself would have been novel – or even unheard of. However, now anyone can order, sell, or make a 3D human replica from the comfort of their business or home with Shapify.

Shapify, based on the Artec Group‘s scanning technology, allows anyone to turn themselves “into a full-color, exact replica 3D figurine using just a Microsoft Kinect. After a quick scan using Shapify’s downloadable software, your mini-me will be mailed right to your door,” their release explains.

It’s easy to use and has already seen success across the globe. Using Kinect has given the Artec team the opportunity to implement their technology not only in public places, but private homes and offices for a quick result.

“You connect it to your laptop and look at the short tutorial video,” says Alexey Steblev, worldwide head of channel development at Artec. “It captures a 3D image from eight different angles and creates a model out of the scans… you download to the Shapify website, it’s printed and delivered to you.”

After establishing the “at home” technology, Shapify now has its scanning software in various international locations and its first 3D scanning booth in Manchester. The Artec Scanning Booth operates on four 3D scanners and has a throughput of 10 customers an hour.

“The booth can also be moved to different locations to maximise customer numbers. Set it up in a busy place, such as a theme park, shopping mall, or airport, and watch the crowds build and the Shapie sales rocket,” reads an excerpt on their site.

Here are a few other features first-time users should know:

  • Companies can make Shapies for clients: According to their site, “Shapify Pro is a virtually zero-investment business package which allows you to 3D scan your clients, order printing and delivery to other Shapies, and earn money only using Kinect.”
  • It’s extremely fast: The process to create a Shapie in both the booth and at home is extremely fast – in the booth, it takes 12 seconds to scan and “3 minutes later a detailed 3D model is created automatically. Print the model using the Shapify printing and delivery all-inclusive service or use your own 3D printer,” the website explains.
  • Offered for different occasions: Users can shapify their most important memories such as weddings, pregnancy, graduation, and other monumental events.
  • Affordable pricing and various options: Shapies are available in three different sizes ranging from 9-15 cm. Users can also order in bulk for discounted prices.

More about Artec and the future of 3D scanning

The Artec Group, which is based in Luxembourg, develops and sells 3D scanners. Along with Steblev, the team is made up of researchers and designers, who eight years ago developed 3D pattern-recognition technology that can recognize the human face.

“In the very beginning, the scanners were used to scan numerous surfaces and objects for a variety of reasons,” says Steblev, who has been working at the company for almost a decade. “We wondered why people were buying scanners and how we could make the technology applicable to everybody, so we made a solution that was directed to the general public.”

As of now, Shapify has 3D scanners and scanning points around the globe in locations such as Tokyo, Hong Kong, Turkey, and Spain, according to their map. While not everyone has caught on to the emerging technology, Steblev says 3D scanning is here to stay – and has the potential to disrupt other industries.

“This is the future of tech,” says Steblev. “You can capture and build a model of a person easily. In the near future, we will see these models used in virtual fitting rooms and so people can see how clothing would look on them. People are already working on this.”


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Amanda Quick is a tech/startup reporter covering young entrepreneurs for Tech Cocktail. She's also interested in covering apps, emerging technology, IoT and beauty & wellness. Amanda is currently in grad school at Syracuse University studying Information Management. In the past she has interned at NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, Brand-Yourself, and the Times Leader Newspaper as well as worked at WWNY-TV and the StartFast Venture Accelerator in Upstate New York. Amanda is originally from Kansas City, MO but has also lived in Canton, MA and Scranton, PA. To learn more you can visit Like Amanda on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.