The Mask-o-Matic is a self-operated kiosk that produces exclusive and unique, custom masks s souvenirs for people visiting Cirque du Soleil shows. Users are able to create a personalized 3D-printed mask modeled to the exact shape of their face and representing a character of the specific show they are attending.
The central motif is the mask, which possesses a variegated cultural background and has a long-standing and fundamental link to the circus world. The overall resemblance and main interaction modalities of a regular photo booth endow the concept with the rich cultural background of this omnipresent device.
Interface and interaction modality
The interaction takes place in a structure that recalls the traditional photo booth: a single small room unit that can be enclosed by curtains if desired, an adjustable stool, a payment device and a touch screen placed in front of the user. The visitor interacts with a touch screen going through the steps necessary to produce the 3D-printed, custom mask in a short amount of time. A second screen is placed outside the booth and reproduces a random selection of the masks previous users have created to attract other visitors and encourage them to use the booth.
The single booths are independent, easily transportable modules that require a connection to electricity to operate. They have a screen outside fed with images of masks created by previous users. Inside the booth there is a touch screen, a payment device and lighting, as well as a device for face scanning, a computer and a high fidelity, fast, colour 3D printing machine for producing the masks (the project speculates about technology that will be available ten years from now).
The Mask-o-Matic fulfills the fundamental need for people to withhold a tangible, personal and customized memory resulting from a strong, emotional experience.
In using the overall resemblance and the main interaction modalities of a regular photo booth the piece can also benefit from the manifold associations connected with this widespread known device and take advantage of the fact that the users are familiar with the basic interactions required to operate the machine.
Research and development context
The Mask-o-Matic has been developed for the long-term Project “Le Village Circassien” at Cirque du Soleil that seeks to reinvent and expand the social, cultural, and architectural setting surrounding the nomadic circus performance theatre. Those compact kiosk structures are versatile and can be placed in different locations in the vicinity of the Big Top. They can be indoors or outdoors, usually in prominent locations with a significant flow of visitors. The number of single units installed and their placement can be varied as needed (size of the show, weather conditions etc.). The design of the sin