One of the most impressive spectacles visitors can find at the Sochi games this month doesn’t have anything to do with sports at all. It’s their own face, over 20 feet tall, rendered on a giant morphing wall at the entrance to Olympic Park.
The Mt. Rushmore-style monument is “the first thing you see when you go in,” says Asif Khan, the British designer who conceived of the pavilion for Megafon, one of the games’ sponsors. Spectators start by getting their likeness captured at one of seven photo booths throughout the park. A five-camera array generates a 3D image of the face, which is then processed for the facade, where it’s rendered with 11,000 pistons, each acting as its own LED-tipped pixel. (After getting their picture taken, visitors get a QR code to scan that lets them know when to expect to see their mug go big.)
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