DUBAI Avatars don't just have to be little blue men that live in a parallel world and have a vague resemblance to you. They can be as real, as life-like, as perfectly made in your image as you would have dared imagine.
TIM, an acronym for This Is Me, is the world's first mini version of you. Having made its first appearance last week, when it was unveiled in Dubai by Lothar Hohmann, managing director of Precise Group, the company behind TIM, the mini figures can best be described as a 360 degree image of a person in full colour, scaled to a life-like model of him/her. In other words, TIM is a bite-sized version of you.
The process is simple enough yet painstakingly ingenious.
"Imagine going into the studio to capture a special moment to last you forever. That's what you do for your TIM too," explains Hohmann. "The only difference is that instead of a single camera, a combination of beamers beam a pattern onto your body. Scanners then read this pattern off you and create three-dimensional data from that. Next, the cameras take photos of you from all angles. Specialised designers merge all these files together, feeding the final results in a rapid prototype machine. Now comes the best bit. Working in a repetitive two-step process, this machine will put out a layer of powder which is 0.0875mm thick, followed by an ink-jet machine to give it colour. This two-step process has to repeat itself thousands of times to create your TIM."
Your TIM is then dipped in glue, wax and has undergone all sorts of treatments until it emerges as a little version of you. Where you took nine months to be created, your TIM only takes seven days.
"Aimed at helping you capture those forever memories, TIM is the perfect opportunity to freeze a moment in time," explains Hohmann. "TIM captures a loved one at a certain time of their life, dressed in a way that will bring back memories and smiles. It is ideal for that special moment such as a pregnancy you want to remember, your child on each birthday, you and your partner on your wedding day, your teen going to their high school prom... Your memories will finally be tangible."
what it takes to make your tim
Your TIM will be 10 per cent of your actual size. If you would like your TIM to be bigger, each model can be produced up to a height of about 30cm.
An average size TIM costs anywhere between Dh500 and Dh1,000. This includes a CD with your own avatar, the virtual rendering of your TIM.
The scanning area allows a maximum of two people closely hugging each other to be scanned.
TIM is available at all PRECISE outlets at Mall of the Emirates, Deira City Centre, The Atlantis and Dubai Duty Free.