Online IM avatars: That could be you, silly

Image for the article Online IM avatars: That could be you, silly

In online games, Second Life members know it too well, your person is called an avatar. Up to know, most of avatars are 2D vector drawn or to-be-realistic 3D rendered. But some companies, like Digimask Promoting at the Gamefest Expo, are considering the next step: The 3D virtual yourself.

Digimask’s technology is based on facial recognition. The software records a short film clip of your head, and allows users to manipulate it frame-by-frame to choose the perfect shot to use for the renderer. Digimask’s middleware technology has been utilized in a number of PlayStation 2 titles, using Sony’s EyeToy accessory, under the name of “Eyetoy Cameo”, reports GamaSutra (viz Gizmodo).

Of course, with your face digitalized, you would get an enhanced game experience with this kind of technology. And maybe see what you’d look like in a Fight Club video game. But one of the side results would also the creation of chat bots that could get very real. Imagine the next time you video conference with AOL customer service to cancel your account, you would meet Eva, the very charming girl that would have many convincing arguments.

UDPATE, Aug 21, 2006 — The music industry starts developing 3D artists’ avatars such as musician Suzanne Vega, ‘pro-Bono’ band U2, former band Duran Duran. They could then perform concerts in surrealistic or not environment.

Aug 20, 2006 | By Nuno

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