We all remember that bit in Empire Strikes Back when Vader freezes Han in carbonite—his form rigid, hands outstretched, mouth agape in a silent cry that no doubt rang out moments before he was placed in perfect hibernation. Some of you lucky few may even have had the carbonite-Han toy.
And now, thanks to the Kinect, Processing, and Michael Zöllner, you will eventually be able to be that toy. Zöllner’s making an open-source program that will allow users to pose in front of the Kinect and create a 3D model of themselves stuck in a virtual carbonite, which can be exported and 3D printed. Then, you can keep it as a souvenir or send it to a 600-year-old morbidly obese galactic crime lord. Whatever takes your fancy.
While some people have been hacking the Kinect as a tool to produce music videos, VJing tools, robotics, and interactive installations, Michael Zöllner is realizing a dream his 8-year-old self would be proud of.
May the 4th be with you.