Each week, we spotlight a cool innovation recommended by some of the industry's top tech writers. This week's pick is hyper-realistic masks.
A tiny Japanese firm that makes "super-realistic" face masks is seeing rising demand from the tech industry, said Kwiyeon Ha at Reuters. Created using a process that translates three-dimensional data from photographs, the plastic-and-resin masks "accurately duplicate an individual's face, down to fine wrinkles and skin texture." The maker, REAL-f Co., receives about 100 orders a year for the masks, which run about 300,000 yen, or $2,650.
Clients have included a car company that used the mask of a sleeping face to help its facial recognition technology detect when a driver dozes off, and organizations linked to the Saudi government, which ordered masks to be used in portraits of the royals. Founder Osamu Kitagawa said he'd like to see them used for medical purposes and developing humanoid robots.