mjnewman LookingOutwards-05, Section A

Design company, Immersive, is striving to bring new life into emoticons. With the help of a technology called Emotion Capture by Expressive AI, anybody is able to create emotionally responsive avatars. What I admire most about this project is not the creativity they are taking with conveying a more accurate depiction of human emotion through technology, but the fact that this new product has helped kids with autism. Kids with autism respond to these virtual avatars because there is “less fear and agitation when talking with a robot.” It goes beyond the obvious entertainment aspect to actually help others communicate.

However, with 40 cameras surrounding each person and a heavy weight on top of their head, this process is no easy feat. After each expression is made (sadness, anxiety, joy, etc.), there are 40 cameras fired at the same time. Each session only takes about 20 minutes, but it can take up to 4 to 6 weeks in order to get the two dimensional pictures into a three dimensional shape by way of a process that combines “mathematical algorithms with computer vision in order to create software personalities.”

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