Next time you speak to the hostess at a restaurant, or the information desk at a store, you might find yourself talking to a giant projected character, if this demonstration from the Nagoya Institute of Technology is any indication.
The Nagoya Institute of Technology Center for Speed and Technology Research has put together a great technology demo that involves this virtual hostess (and other characters too). Using 3D graphics with an 'anime' rendering, this computer graphics (CGI) character can answer questions about select topics (like weather) with a surprising realism. The animation is well done and definitely attracts the eye. If the program doesn't hear you, because it's noisy, it will say so ('sorry, I can't hear you').
Honestly, this isn't really new. People have been playing with this technology for at least a decade, but now modern computers have made it possible to pack all the necessary hardware into a standard desktop, without requiring a rack of equipment for Voice Analysis and Rendering.
via MMDAgent ' Converse with life-size CGI character
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