In the VR future, less is more. Though video games and the like have people used to extremely complicated avatars, Google's VR engineers are seeing how much they can strip down the avatars without making people confused.
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If your Facebook friend suddenly debuts an especially patriotic avatar this week, it might not be because they're extra excited about the 4th of July. To combat all that gay in their timelines, some conservatives are calling for true Americans to cover their profile photos with American flags instead.
Deepak Chopra, online werewolf and mortal nemesis of Gizmodo's Matt Novak, wants you to know the "possiblities" are infinite. A message he decided to share with the world using the only medium that matters anymore — his Twitter avatar. The possibilities are so infinite, in fact, that he has freed himself from the shackles of spelling. B freee!
When I joined Friendster in 2003, I uploaded my first avatar. It was Chuck Close's undeniably gritty and terrific "Big Self-Portrait" from the 1960s, dangling cigarette and all. When I joined Facebook a year later, I used the same one. Friends I hadn't seen for ages thought my life had taken a turn.
If you've been watching Twitter lately, more and more people are using animated Twitter avatars. They're eye-catching and cool, but how do you make them? It's not complicated, but as our friends at FWD point out in this handy guide, there are a few tricks that will make your clever GIF pop.
Computer programs have long been used to help teach children important life skills: Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing a shining early example of a virtual world in which kids could learn.
According to AllTwitter, 5 per cent of Twitter's 500 employees haven't picked an avatar yet. C'mon, guys! Why so shy? Embrace the one bit of visual originality your company's service allows you!
Xbox's Avatar Kinect is pretty wild: It tracks and replicates your facial expressions with surprising precision. Which probably made you think about having a more realistic Avatar reppin' yourself owning up 12-year-olds in Halo, or something. But Microsoft Research's Photo-Real Talking Head project, which uses 2D photos to make a photo-realistic 3D model of a face with the same kind of emotional range, shows why that's a terrible idea.
This just seems wrong. A US businessman claims he's been sitting on 3D scans from 1996, when MJ was aged 37. It's rumoured the singer wanted a virtual or robot double, and this data, if real, would enable just that.
Microsoft's latest clip offers a somewhat brilliant introduction to NXE, the Xbox 360's new interface. It's a commercial, yes, but the spot has a Pixaresque sensibility that makes the whole thing dreadfully charming.
Video: Avatars in the new Xbox experienceAs part of The New Xbox Experience, an Xbox 360 firmware update coming at an undisclosed date, Microsoft has taken a lesson from Nintendo and added 3D cartoon avatars to the mix. In this clip, you can see just how robust the creation is—far more detailed and customisable than a Mii—though we can't help but to wonder if Miis resemble people so well specifically because they lack detail. Then again, the Xbox avatars burp on command. And that's good for something.
Here's what we just learned from Microsoft in their round table discussion on Xbox Live and the new Dashboard. First, the impetus for re-designing the dash was that the current content navigation is too difficult. They only planned on a couple hundred/thousand items, but they currently have 20,000+ pieces of content in their marketplace. There needed to be a change, and the change is the streamlined dash. Here's what else we found.