Here’s an amazing demonstration video of new avatar web camera technology from Yasue Mitsukura and the folks at Keio University in Japan. The system presents an animated avatar which responds in coordination with the changes in the users face and position that are tracked by an ordinary web cam. Eyes, nose, and mouth are tracked as well, and as you can see in the video below, it looks pretty great when the user talks.
Diginfo news cites Mitsukura as saying that this is superior to motion capture, and far easier too:
Systems using motion capture with markers on the face aren’t convenient for ordinary users. In that sense, until now, there hasn’t been technology for moving a model freely in real time.
Of course the applications for such a system are pretty mind boggling, as it could be used in everything from Second Life-style social games, to letting users create their own anime movies, to a fun new avatar Skype-calling service.
It will be interesting to see what this Keio group does with it. But it certainly could go a long way to improving a game console like the Wii-U with its new Miiverse. Check out the demonstration video below where we see a Hatsune Miku avatar speaking along in time with the user.
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