No Technology Can Improve on an ASCII PhotoboothS

If you thought the novelty photobooth idea was just a recent trend, think again. Back in 1976—the year before Atari released its ground-breaking 2600 console—the company was hawking these fantastic Compugraph Foto booths that created retroriffic ASCII portraits of people.

The subject was photographed in front of a stark-white background with a live video preview monitor. Ninety seconds later, a built-in dot-matrix printer spat out an 11x14-inch portrait with the likeness converted into ASCII art. The 950-pound wheeled cabinet could easily be reduced to a simple app these days, but there's something still oddly appealing about having the results as an actual dot-matrix printout. So forget the hackneyed Instagram booth at your wedding. See if you can dig up one of these contraptions—and maybe some awesome checkered pants.

No Technology Can Improve on an ASCII PhotoboothS

[The Arcade Flyer Archive via BoingBoing]