The young and the adventurous
CloneMe is only three months old, but it has big dreams that stretch out over the next four years. This could be because the 3D market has a lot of room – a potential 2 billion euro industry
, and the founders see great scope for it in India's booming – and changing – lifestyle sector. The country's gifting industry alone is estimated to be US$30 billion – US$400 million of which is online.
CloneMe's co-founders figure that if the country is becoming more affluent and people are shopping online more, people's gift preferences must be changing as well, leaving the door wide open for the 3D printing market in India. Indeed, CloneMe models were listed on a fun Diwali gift inspiration list
, along with floor cleaning robots and "quirky gifts."
Getting a statuette made of yourself may sound a little narcissistic or out of the box (pun intended), but these founders see possibilities beyond immortalizing the self. Kamlesh tells the story of one of his customers, a mentally challenged boy who walked into the store with his father, saw a superhero figurine, and wanted to be made in the likeness of the superhero. CloneMe was able to fill the order and deliver it to the boy's house personally.
Seeing the smile on the child's face, Kamlesh tells me, was really something.
I tentatively mention that weddings would be a good place to have 3D selfies, and Kamlesh lights up, and we joke a little bit about what it would be like to look back on yourself in full wedding day glory several years into the future. Wedding season in India is, of course, right around the corner, beginning in December and lasting until February, and CloneMe already has orders coming in.
Weddings are a big market in India, Kamlesh says. "[Couples] want to be immortalized with their young and beautiful wedding day appearances…it's better than a photograph."
CloneMe has also gotten several orders for 3D models of family gods or spiritual advisers, something Kamlesh notes is an application of the technology unique to India.