See Your Face Replicated in a 500-sq-foot Pinscreen at the Sochi Olympics

Father and kid looking at megaface display

Magaface display at sochi olympics

Have you ever stuck your hand (or face) into a pinscreen half expecting to be stabbed by the pins, only to be thrilled by seeing the 3D replica of your body part? Somehow pinscreens never get old. But could you handle a pinscreen the size of a building?

Reminding us of MIT’s interactive shapeshifting display, British architect Asif Khan, with the help of Swiss art firm iart, is bringing what The Verge is calling a “Digital Mount Rushmore” to the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The kinetic facade, located at the entrance to the Olympic Park on the side of the MegaFon pavilion, will create huge 3D replicas of people’s faces throughout the Olympic games. The installation features over 10,000 actuators fitted with LEDs that can extend up to six feet from the side of the building to form 3D shapes.

To see a 500-square-foot replica of their face rendered by the Olympic Park, visitors can scan their faces at 3D photo booths located in the pavilion as well as in MegaFon stores across Russia. The installation will render three faces at a time for 20 seconds, and visitors will receive a link where they can watch a video of their Olympic fame, according to The Verge. It’s estimated that 170,000 faces will be rendered throughout the games.

“The concept is to give everyone the opportunity to be the face of the Olympics,” Khan writes.

Curious how the installation will work? Khan and iart have already performed an initial batch test of the kinetic facade using 1,000 actuators, which you can see in the video below:

The official display will open February 7.

The Olympics could prove to be a valuable branding opportunity for MegaFon, one of the largest telecom operators in Russia and is a general partner of the Sochi Olympics. To learn more about Khan’s installation, click here (if you can read Russian).

Father and kid looking at megaface display

faraway rendering of megaface

aerial rendering of megaface

Images by Asif Khan

Lauren Mobertz

By Lauren Mobertz

Lauren is the former managing editor for DashBurst. One part geek, one part urban nomad, she is constantly scouting for the latest tech and world news. In the evenings you'll find Lauren running in strange places or attempting to dance salsa.