Have you spent too much time in social networks and on gaming applications trying to build an avatar of yourself? Have you ever wasted 20 minutes looking for your nose among a collection of digital noses? Wondering why it’s so hard to build a representation of your face when you’ve been starting at it in the mirror all your life?
Thanks to a new Japanese technology, you may be able to let a computer do it for you in the future, and it may be so much more than a static avatar. NTT DoCoMo (News - Alert), Japan's largest mobile operator, recently debuted a prototype pair of glasses that use multiple built-in video cameras that scan the wearer’s face and realistic portray it and its expressions online.
The company demonstrated the glasses at the Ceatec electronics show in Chiba, Japan, with the goal of eventually replacing the fuzzy, two-dimensional avatar images that are common on chat programs today. The glasses use tiny, wide-angle cameras to capture large portions of the face at close range, then send the data over the network, where software then attempts to convert it back to a realistic recreation of the wearer, according to NetworkWorld.
While observers say that the prototype still has a way to go: users look somewhat bloated on the screen, and the glasses don’t yet capture hair, the glasses are capable of quite accurately rendering the wearer’s expressions.
"There are many types of avatar, or computer-graphics based real-time communication systems, but this system is completely different to previous systems," said Masaaki Fukumoto, a senior researcher at DoCoMo.
"For example, previous systems just detect the position of the (facial) parts, such as the eye or mouth and so on, but this system actually takes the image of the face and directly transmits it to the receiver side," he said.
You can find a demonstration of the glasses here on YouTube (News - Alert).
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Edited by Brooke Neuman