LONDON -- A new photobooth offering from Sega Amusements is a radical change from most of the automated picture machines available today, according to the company. The SuperBooth, which Sega claims is the first interactive photobooth, puts the users in front of a professional photographer who leads them through a nine-set photo shoot.
The virtual photographer encourages and guides the users -- and offers tips on how to strike a pose -- amid a pulse-pounding soundtrack and a flashing light show. The photo-shoot experience is intensified when a powerful fan blows back the hair of the subjects (we've all seen shots where a fan was used to blow a model's hair around).
Sega general manager Peter Gustafson describes the SuperBooth as a "photo-tainment" device, and says the new machine takes the photobooth experience in an "entirely new and refreshing direction."
According to Gustafson, photobooth functionality is going in two directions. He says the small and less-intrusive machines deliver an experience that's about as much fun as posing for a driver's license photo at the DMV. On the other end, there are sophisticated booths that can confuse and frustrate some users with too many menu choices and navigation requirements.
SuperBooth allows guests to select from five photographers and five backgrounds; once chosen, the photo shoot begins. An announcer reads instructions, which are complemented by graphics displayed on a 42" HD in-booth monitor. The lights go up, the music starts, the fan blows and then the photographer appears. In 90 seconds, he directs the user through nine poses. A large interior capacity allows as many as eight guests to get in the picture.
The final output appears on a 6" x 8" print, all nine poses, and the patron has the option to purchase additional copies. Sega recommends a $5 vend for the first print and $3 each for additional copies.
Sega can provide custom photographers and background templates, for a nominal fee. Consumables can be purchased by the operator where dye-sub photo paper is sold.
The SuperBooth was designed by a company based in Ronkonkoma, NY, and is distributed exclusively (and globally) in the vending market by Sega Amusements. Sega tested the interactive photobooth concept at Dave & Buster's, the nationwide big box arcade-restaurant chain, which is now operating 61 units store-wide.
» DNP RX1 dye-sublimation printer. (Ships with one printer, but a second can be installed. One paper roll yields 350 prints)
» Cannon EOS T3 camera
» High-intensity LED panels
» Commercial-quality blower
» Club-ready sound system with subwoofer and internal/external speakers
» Internal and external HD monitors (monitor topper is optional)
» MEI banknote validator
SuperBooth dimensions and weight: 61" x 94" x 79.5" and 1,270 lbs.
(with optional monitor topper: 61" x 94" x 108.5" and 1,345 lbs.)
Based in Chessington, England, Sega Amusements is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan's Sega Corp. Sega Amusements' U.S. team is based in Illinois. For information on SuperBooths, visit segaarcade.com or email to Tom.Keil, Vince.Moreno or Peter.Gustafson, all @sau.sega.com. Gustafson can be reached directly at (224) 265-4281.