Wolf3D, an Estonian company that originally focused on 3D printing, now has a simple goal: to put your 3D avatar into games, media, and virtual experiences. If these guys have anything to say about it, you’re about to have a persistent virtual 3D copy of yourself that will hop from game to game and platform to platform.
The product, called Ready Player Me, creates a 3D avatar based on a photo. Founded by Timmu Tõke, Wolf3D has been around for six years and originally built 3D body scanners.
After scanning tens of thousands of people, they’ve been able to build a “selfie-to-avatar” system using machine learning.
“The goal with Ready Player Me is to give users a standard avatar they can use in many games and VR apps across the world,” Tõke said. “For the developers we are a complete avatar/character system they can implement ‘in a click of a button.’”
The company raised $US2.8 ($4) million to build out the product, which they have embedded into a number of games, including titles from HTC and Wargaming.
“We’re building a platform that makes avatars transportable between many different virtual experiences,” said Tõke. The system is primarily B2B right now, meaning that games makers can embed it into their systems. When a company uses the feature, they can allow you to take and upload a selfie and then generate a 3D avatar instantly.
Currently, the worlds of 3D scanning, machine learning, and avatar creation are disconnected. The closest you can currently get to Wolf3D’s system are character tweaking systems like the ones offered in popular games like Skyrim. Tõke thinks he has a simpler, yet more powerful solution.
“We believe in the future of the virtual worlds, but we don’t want to see it controlled by one big company,” Tõke said. “That’s why cross-platform services like Ready Player Me need to exist, to give the user a perfect avatar they love and help them transport their identity across many virtual worlds easily. If we succeed with that, avatars will become the unifying layer across many virtual experiences and will glue them together into one big virtual world – the metaverse.”