What kind of creature lives in the Uncanny Valley? Reports suggest it could be you, dressed in a super-realistic mask made to look exactly like your pet cat.
By, 14 Mar 2019
All too super-real
Japanese ‘creative planning’ office Shindo Rinka has mastered a new technique to create “super real creature masks” that look troublingly like a cat of the customer’s choosing.
If you ever wondered what life’s like as the other half, here is your chance to find out.
Model artist Michika Shindo apparently completed the first terrifying experiment on her own cat, a Bengal named Mr Louis.
The technique begins with the sculpting of a mould in the shape of the model’s skull. After this, fur is added – and then carefully painted with close reference to photographs of the ‘original.’
“We will create a completely custom-made product that reproduces your family's family pet patterns and habits,” the company said in a press release.
It is not clear how the mask is able to reproduce a cat’s ‘habits,’ but presumably wearers get so deep into character while wearing it that it is difficult to resist adopting the original’s character and behaviour.
A convenient solution for criminals and obsessives
“For making like the face, the back part is cloth, and can be stored compactly,” the press release continues. “Therefore, because it can be easily carried, it can be used freely in various situations.”
Example situations include taking selfies alongside your baffled cat and visiting a bar staffed by a rhinoceros, according to the press release.
Customers could also consider creating ‘lo-fi’ deepfake videos, travelling illegally on the cat’s ‘pet passport,’ or starring in a movie about a ‘were-cat’ rock-star who turns into a kitten when the moon rises. Finally, patrons could order a mask that looks exactly like the pet of the lover who spurned them, and attempt to win their way back into their heart through subterfuge.
The product is named “My Family” and is available directly from the company’s website, for a price of 300,000 yen (£2,055) plus tax and postage, which is a small price to pay for whatever weird goals you probably want to achieve with it.
It is not known whether this service is also available for dog masks, which would be a cute and playful concept and not frightening and creepy like the cat masks.