Consulting Service Director at The Database Group
04 March 2003 10:49am
I've recently come across a new technology that takes text or wav files from a content management system and uses it to create an animated character that speaks to the user (in any language!).
It seems this could be a big step forward in internet applications as it address lots of issues:
-accessibility (sign language)
-technical literacy (taking people through forms in an easy manner)
-customer support (can be linked to a database and can answer FAQs)
-screen limitations (interactive tv)
-high-impact branding (think a talking churchill dog)
Can anyone share their experiences with this or similar technology? Is it the 'next big thing'? Who else provides services in this market?
n/a at n/a
07 March 2003 08:47am
>Can anyone share their experiences with this or similar
>technology? Is it the 'next big thing'? Who else
>provides services in this market?
try here: http://www.ananova.com/video/
Ananova has been presenting breaking news in the manner you describe for almost 3 years now.
07 March 2003 10:14am
I know about ananova and she's great. And, I understand the technology has moved on quite a bit and can be used much more flexibly (have seen a recent viral marketing campaign where you send an avatar who will read out your message).
It just seems so applicable to so many applications...I'm wondering how people are using them now, where they might use them in the future, how effective they are...surely there are more applications than reading the news!
Please let me know your thoughts/experiences.
On 08:47:20 7 March 2003 jsawers wrote:
>>Can anyone share their experiences with this or
>>technology? Is it the 'next big thing'? Who else
>>provides services in this market?
>try here: http://www.ananova.com/video/
>Ananova has been presenting breaking news in the manner
>you describe for almost 3 years now.
Head of Marketing & Business Development at Bridgehead Goup Ltd
14 March 2003 20:02pm
I have been advocating this type of technology since '99, and made several consultancy presentations to some of the largest ISPs in Europe.
I reccommended that this type of technology be used to act as a revenue creating model to finance the launch of broadband services that would provide advertising revenue irrelevant of whether the user was on the ISPs site or not.
Although its current uses are somewhat seedy, The now rudimentary technology used in Totem Media's "Virtual Girl" http://www.virtuagirl.com
can be used for many other applications; not less a medium with which to communicate commercial messages that is free from any website or content, as it has a clear background.
Imagine a 3-inch, classy, leggy blonde coming out of a corner of your screen and talking to you about the latest Mercedes...
Taking the advances made by United Virtulities with its "Shoshkele" Technology that delivers out of banner adverts also into consideration; in particular the algorythms used to reduce the size of the files, can also give an indication of how this type of technology can be used for commercial uses.
Finally, the way in which Avatar Casino makes use of this technology is also indicative of other commercial uses that this type of technology can have.
I believe that we are not there yet, in terms of briging all of the good points of the current technologies out there; from the speech ability of Annanova; the platform-free flexibility of Virtuagirl; the versatility of the DHTML compatability and the size of Shshkeles; and to the Interactive Avatar world of Avatar Casino.
However, once a new all-encompassing technology arrives; then we can look forward to being able to choose an attractive Avatar to guide us down the virtual alleys of our preferred superstore; conversing with us and advising us on the benefits of buying a particular brand of organically grown Colombian coffee.
It sure beats the socks of spotty teenagers with web-cams attached to a Tesco helmet.
Director of Strategy at Oracy Interactive
17 June 2003 15:35pm
Check this out. I think by the same people who did Ananova. It's impressive - especially the hispanic accent, but I think the implementation is a little too clunky to be compelling, so probably won't go viral as the client may have wanted.
Here's another avitar type technology I really like and works a little more fluently...
17 June 2003 16:00pm
I see Sheffield Wednesday are using Vhost to read out their news headlines. Not sure about the accent for a UK site.
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