Control An Avatar's Facial Expression In Real-Time Using A Standard PC

<p>Your virtual identity just got a little murkier.</p>

Earlier this year we saw a resurrected holo-Tupac perform at Coachella and Japan already has a holographic pop star complete with screaming fans. Plus there’s an Elvis hologram on the way. So it seems virtual interactive personas are becoming increasingly common, in the music industry at least. How long before they become common place in our day-to-day lives, replacing our own faces on a Skype chat?

Probably not that long. Researchers at Keio University have created an avatar that can mirror your facial expressions in real-time, using a standard webcam to track your face. Facetracking in real-time is not new, we’ve previously seen Arturo Castro’s uncanny face-hacking project where you can substitute your face with someone else’s. But with a real-time responsive avatar, this project lets you become someone else entirely.

It has implications for gaming, web chats, and for controlling virtual characters at events. Say Mario introduces his new game to you, while also interacting with the audience in real-time. As well as its applications it’s also noteworthy because it achieves high speed and high precision replication with a standard PC and plug-in webcam, bringing this kind of virtual dress-up into our homes and onto our laptops.


[via Prosthetic Knowledge]