You spent hours tweaking your Xbox or Nintendo avatar to look exactly like you, but researchers at the EPFL are taking things one step further with a Kinect-based system that can translate your facial expressions and emotions to your online persona. So the next time you’re cursing into your headset after a loss in Halo, your character won’t look so serene.
The system works in real-time too, without requiring the user to cover their face in tracking dots or don an awkward one-piece leotard. They just need to sit in front of a 3D-capable video sensor like the Kinect’s camera and go about their usual online routine. It’s even intelligent enough to perfectly track the motion of the eyes, though the user will most likely be only looking at their screen. And in addition to making gaming more expressive, the system will also be a boon to the computer graphics industry, streamlining and making facial animation far more realistic. If only Second Life were still a thing! [YouTube]