High Fidelity Produces More Expressive Avatars!
Tired of those wooden, blank-faced avatars in your virtual reality world? High Fidelity, a San Francisco start-up, has figured out a way to be more expressive, virtually.
(High Fidelity expressive avatars)
Philip Rosedale is telling me about his new company, but I canít stop myself from looking down at my hands. With palms up, I watch with fascination as I slowly wiggle my fingers and form the ďOKĒ sign. I curl my hands into fists as I reach my arms out in front. They look pinker than normal but work as usual. When I look back up at Rosedale, heís wearing a smile, and his eyebrows rise slightly. ďIsnít it cool?Ē he says. In my right ear, I hear a quiet chuckle from one of his colleagues, Ryan Karpf, standing just outside my vision.
It is cool, because nothing that Iím seeing is real. Though our conversation appears to be happening in a tastefully lit club, I am actually sitting in front of a laptop in a San Francisco office wearing a virtual-reality headset and headphones. Iím trying out a new platform for virtual worlds in development by Rosedaleís startup, High Fidelity.
When I put on the virtual-reality goggles, I saw the view from my avatarís eyes; as I moved my head, motion sensors in the goggles controlled the movements of the avatarís head. Moving my hands in the real world controlled the avatarís hands, thanks to an infrared motion sensor mounted on the front of the headset.
I could gesture for emphasis, and look from person to person as the conversation flowed or my attention drifted. More important, I could get a read on what Rosedale and Karpf were thinking as they spoke or listenedóbecause their head movements and facial expressions mirrored what their real bodies were doing. Each had logged in from a laptop with a small 3-D camera perched on its screen; the camera captured their expressions, down to eye blinks and lip movements. Their virtual mouths synched with their real words. After the initial unfamiliarity wore off, chatting with Rosedale and Karpf in virtual space was much the same as it would have been in real space.
Lots of science fiction fans first encountered the idea of an "avatar" in the 1992 novel Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.
As Hiro approaches the street, he sees two couples probably using their parent's computer for a double date in the Metaverse. He's not seeing real people, of course. It's all part of a moving illustration created by his computer from specifications coming down the fiber optic cable. These people are pieces of software called avatars. They are the audiovisual bodies that people use to communicate with each other in the Metaverse.
(Read more about Stephenson's avatars)
An avatar is an incarnation of a deity in human form; the literal meaning of the Sanskrit word is "he passes or crosses down." It is taken from Hindu philosophy. Just as the deity "passes down" from the higher realms of being to the simpler realm of the material Earth, so a person becomes an avatar in a simpler computer-generated reality.
Via Technology Review and High Fidelity
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/24/2014)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Rid Thyself Of Ads On The Newsbox
'Can't we scramble that commercial?' - Robert Heinlein, 1941.
Google's Remixed 'Your News Update' ala Heinlein, Clarke, Pohl
'Perhaps we had better use the soundtrack and let it hunt.' Robert Heinlein, 1941.
5G Will Be Crucial Backup For Self-Driving Cars
'... some bored drone pusher in a remote driving centre has got your life in his hands.' - Charles Stross, 2007
Olfactory User Interfaces - Judith Amores Dissertation
Awakened with a whiff of lemon.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Tesla Will Have Metal Gear Snake Autocoupler, Musk Confirms
'Its motion was so swift, complex, and perfect that at first I did not see it as a machine, in spite of its metallic glitter.'
Starlink Satellites Leading Edge On-Orbit Debris Mitigation
Propulsion-assisted orbital decay, brought to you by SpaceX.
Healight Ultraviolet Endotracheal Device Has Covid-19 Treatment Potential
'He applied the tip of the instrument to the interior of the wound...'
Parents Use AI To See One Last Message From Their Deceased Son
'...what's to keep me from showing face, Man?'
Satoshi Tomizu Creates Pocket Universes And Worldcraft Bubbles In Glass
'The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...'
Space Hero Inc. Offers Trip To ISS As Reality Show Prize
'This is Elmer Schmitz, presenting to you the finalists in our Aviation Quiz Program...'
I Love Ceiling-Mounted Robots
'Immediately an enormous apparatus fell on to her out of the ceiling...'
Armano Remote Control Excavator
'The bulldozer moved through the... mine... '
OK, NASA 3D Printer Of Food Not Yet Star Trek Food Synthesizer
Maybe not, but we're seeing definite progress.
Kelly Clarkson Show Like Black Mirror '15 Million Merits'
'These people are pieces of software called avatars.'
Salto Jumping Robot Now Sticks Landing!
'Lucky touched the leap knob and the hopper's leg retracted.'
Gyroscopic Median-Straddling Mass Transit Vehicles
'It was among these leviathans that the little gyrocar was daring to thrust its puny self...'
Bigrating Laser Beam-Riding Light Sail Is Self-Correcting
'That sail will be twenty thousand miles at the wide part.'
ISS Astronauts Test Estee Lauder 'Advanced Night Repair' Skin Serum
'Out in the New Moon, just ask for what you want...'
LG Wing Twisting Smartphone Might Be Fun
'A polycarbon screen unfurled...'
Mushroom Coffin Returns You To Nature, Naturally
'She touched the leaf. She was wanted.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories