Intel launches new Pocket Avatars messaging app

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By @NicKanali 

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What do you get when you combine some interesting new technology with avatars and mobile chat messaging capability?  A completely new way to connect, chat and have a little fun! Well, that is just what Intel done for you.

The company has unveiled a new messaging App Known as Pocket Avatars, which will allow users to convert their faces into avatars. 

The app uses a smartphone’s camera and microphone to record a short message while mapping the speaker’s facial expressions onto one of several cartoon characters. The message is then sent to the recipient, who can play it, complete with the avatar’s head movements, smiles and blinks.

”Using a mobile device’s standard camera and microphone, Pocket Avatars captures a user’s facial expressions, head movements and voice to create, send and receive personalized 3D video animated messages using avatar characters.”,  Michael A. Bell, the corporate vice president and general manager of the New Devices Group for Intel Corporation said.

It is the first messaging app to use standard smartphone and tablet hardware to map your facial expressions onto animated 3D characters.

The software uses a proprietary motion sensing technology to track mouth movements and facial expressions through a device’s built-in camera. It fuses those expressions in real time onto an avatar. The end result is your voice speaking from a 3D animated face that mimics your own expressions.

The resulting video message can be shared with other Pocket Avatar users from phone to phone. You can also share it with people who do not have the app, via email or social media.

Intel plans to add more characters to its avatar library over time. At launch, about 20 avatars are free.

According to Intel, Sophisticated, real-time facial and head-tracking technology enables the app to evoke different facial expressions built from created 3-D models.  Avatars can smile big and small, blink, raise & lower eyebrows, stick out their tongue and blow a kiss. This is all enabled by efficient and robust algorithms that can capture diverse image conditions such as changing light and moving subjects.

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