Want to be in sumo? App shows how you might look

Fri Feb 4, 2011 9:52am EST
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TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - Ever have a yen to be a sumo wrestler? Curious to see how you might look bulked up like a behemoth and with a traditional wrestler's topknot?

Now, an iPhone app can show you -- and without even packing on any kilos.

The "SumoBooth" app, developed by Tokyo-based MotionPortrait Inc, a subsidiary of the Internet-linked So-net Entertainment Corp, allows users to upload a photo of their face taken with their phone.

The images are processed to add pounds and the wrestlers' trademark hairstyle with a topknot. The app will also record voices and alter them to give users a sumo wrestler's distinctive husky sound.

"We do a lot of apps involving faces -- we have one with zombies -- and we thought that turning people into sumo wrestlers would be kind of fun," said Masaharu Yoshimori, chief planning officer at the company, which offers the app for 115 yen ($1.41).

"For this particular app we thought it would be nice to show Japanese culture to the world, and have fun at the same time."

But Sumo, beset over the last year by a string of scandals that have damaged the sport's hallowed image, is currently struggling to deal with yet another blow after three wrestlers admitted to match-fixing.

(Reporting by Elaine Lies; editing by Yoko Nishikawa)

<p>Competitors wrestle in the over 115 kg category during the European Sumo Championships in Renens near Lausanne August 23, 2009. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse</p>