Make Your Avatar Smile
Have you ever wanted to have your face on the screen as some kind of cartoon that mimics your expressions or do you have a webcam with software which allows you to put a mask over your face and move as you blink and talk?
Microsoft are working on Avatar Kinect which will enable you to use facial recognition and join friends in parties to talk through your avatar. You and up to seven friends will be able to ‘hang out’ in various simulated environments and chat together using your avatars.
“The work that we did was taking something that was essentially a demo and turning it into a product,” said Eric Lang, a general manager for Microsoft Startup Business Group. “It’s a huge amount of work.” That work included developing algorithms for facial expressions and making sure the computer vision could work with Kinect, Lang said.
What started in Microsoft Research as a study of the “geometry of a gaze” and the science of the smile was incubated by the Startup Business Group, he said. Working closely with Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, his group tweaked the technology, refined it, and built a home for it on Kinect, Lang said.
It should be ‘rolled out’ some time soon, so keep an eye out for it!