Video demo of affordable face tracking technology

Phillip Torrone of MAKE magazine shows us a video demo of Logitech QuickCam Orbit MP’s face tracking technology. As you can see it’s really fun! But beyond that, it could mean more interesting personal media production possibilities (e.g. videocasting). What used to be affordable only by television news networks, is now a reality for the rest of us.

When I first saw Logitech’s QuickCam Orbit MP web camera last year, it looked to me like a sturdy camera for those of us who were really into video conferencing or even videocasting. I experimented with Logitech’s face tracking technology in which the camera would zoom in to automatically center where your face was on screen. Little did I know that the QuickCam Orbit MP did more than that… it added interactivity and image overlays similar to that of the EyeToy PS2 videogame or ToySight for the Mac.

For videocasters, this is awesome…

Since Phil revealed that the files used for the model/avatars are .LVA (avatars) and .LVF for the face accessories, you could download more or even create your own! I could possibly make cartoons or machinimas easily, buy/sell virtual tie & suit outfits for videocasters to “wear”, the list goes on. Since we are seeing Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG) getting more mainstream now, we are beginning to see our dual existence (online/real-life) slowly becoming one.

Applications such as these serve to merge the two even more… heck I could have my World of Warcraft character turned into my web cam avatar! I see this idea not only entertaining, but of having serious implications in defining our identity today.

3 thoughts on “Video demo of affordable face tracking technology

  1. “I see this idea not only entertaining, but of having serious implications in defining our identity today.”

    I agree completely–this idea has been floating around since at least the Jetsons with ‘make-up’ for video phones, and to have it delivered as a free accessory to an off-the-shelf webcam is pretty amazing.

    Has anyone had any luck in replacing or modifying files yet? The jpegs seem to be some exotic flavor (nothing I’ve found yet opens them, but Photoshop thinks they are jpegs with a ‘precision’ that it can’t handle). This would be a great hack.

  2. Very cool. Gotta buy one for video podcast work!

    It’s just this sort of thing which makes me wanna replace my organic eyes with the electronic version. In other words, a “web browser” for the everyday world, where all of us can present an online persona which is very different than the one we were born with. Just wait a couple of years and we’ll see rich people walking around half naked, but wearing expensive virtual garments which can only be perceived by those of us who can afford the expensive implants.

  3. Has there been any word yet whether someone has been able to build a custom logitech avatar yet?

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