Emoticons are obsolete: new technology adds real face expressions to text messages
Messaging via SMS can be great. You can use it to send quick messages or have full blown conversations. With smart phones getting larger screens and better keyboards, there are people out there who prefer texting to phone calls or email. However, texting isn’t all it could be. Even with emoticons, it can be hard to decipher the tone someone is trying to use in a text. It is, after all, text. There is no voice or facial expressions to extrapolate mood.
This is a problem that NTT Docomo Inc is looking to fix with their new software called 3D Face Avatar. Utilizing new advancements in SMS technology, texters will soon be able to send their facial expressions right along with a text message. It may seem kind of silly, but getting facial expressions along with text can be useful. It greatly increases the reader’s ability to discern the mood of the text without overusing elements like emoticons.
How does it work?
How it works is not difficult to understand. After constructing the text, 3D Face Avatar takes a peek at your mug. Based on your facial expressions, it creates a 3-dimensional representation of your expression to send along with the text. According to photos and demonstrations, the 3D avatar should even resemble your real face.
3D Face Avatar was first introduced by NTT Docomo Inc during the action packed 2012 IFA in Berlin. Despite its very recent announcement, NTT Docomo Inc claims that this technology is ready for mobile devices now. So it may not be very long before this technology is actually available.
Between this and the ever improving voice dictation, it won’t be long before we’re talking and smiling at our smartphones like we are talking to them. While it is for the benefit of our texting recipients, it’s really just one more step toward Skynet, don’t you think?