So it might not deliver the kind of sophistication in motion-capture that was utilised by Team Bondi for its ground-breaking crime caper L.A. Noire – that, after all, relied on a studio set-up with 32 high-def cameras tracking a single actor’s face – but new facial animation software ‘Faceshift’ does more than an adequate job in replicating such techniques, and it relies solely on Microsoft’s Kinect.
Though we’ve at times been frustrated with many of Kinect’s shortcomings when it comes to simple motion-tracking in-game, the camera continues to impress when the Windows version of the peripheral is put in front of developers. Faceshift, developed by a team from EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, School of Computer and Communication Sciences Computer Graphics and Geometry Laboratory), is the very latest to catch our eye.
Using Kinect to capture the 3D data it needs to construct an accurate computerised model of the users’ face, the software does a terrific job in further mirroring every expression, facial twitch and movement, shown off with barely any noticeable delay on an on-screen avatar. Developers can improve the accuracy of the facial recognition even further in a post-processing stage.
According to the team behind it, the software tracks even the smallest emotions thanks by tracking 48 different 'blendshape' parameters, and can even track gaze and sense blinking. Currently being licensed to developers for $1500 a year, it's a snip for those studios looking to get decent-quality motion capture into its games, all without the hassle of a hi-tech, lab-like studio set-up.
I get it. We’re all scared in the wake of the tragedy in Westminster last Wednesday. Khalid Masood’s actions in committing this atrocity are truly reprehensible. But digital communication is not at fault, and adding an Orwellian level of surveillance is not the answer.
Broadband problems? Under new Ofcom proposals, you will no longer have to “fight tooth and nail” for the “fair compensation” you are owed. If approved, Internet Service Providers will automatically have to pay customers for bad broadband, delayed repairs and missed engineer appointments.
A car that rises up to drive over traffic… Sounds like a dream, right? Well, it is I’m afraid. While the Hum Rider is a real car, it’s simply a marketing stunt for Verizon.
Sex toys have taken another step forward with the Flashlight Launch - a masturbation machine that takes all the manual arm work out of reaching climax.
Snapchat story clones are cropping up everywhere in Facebook-owned apps and it’s not necessary. Would you ever want to post the same story across four different platforms? Or course not.
What is the future of wearables? I went to The Wearable Technology Show and found out - writing for BBC Science Focus magazine.
Forget everything you knew about smart homes and the Legend of Zelda… One particular fan has managed to create a home automation system that is controlled by playing the Ocarina.
Following the instant success of Pokémon GO in summer 2016, rumours began that developer Niantic was working on another game – simply named Harry Potter GO. This is fake news, so please stop sharing it.
A team of researchers have done something incredible yet terrifying - using sound waves to hack a smartphone, using a method that could be used to theoretically control any technology with an accelerometer.
I get it - the headline sounds terrifying. But Switzerland’s EPFL has just invented a medical masterpiece that could help to reinvent robotic healthcare. These gelatinous machines could soon be crawling around your insides and performing operations.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.