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Video game gets facial recognition

A technology company has developed video gaming software that can copy a person's facial expression.

Cloud Imperium Games have teamed up with Faceware to bring the facial recognition technology to their Star Citizen game.

Chris Roberts, chairman and CEO of Cloud Imperium Games said: "This is the first time any game has used this kind of technology to detect and stream the facial movements of players in real-time, and I believe it's a revolutionary step in gaming.

"For the first time we'll be able to deliver the full range of human emotion, not just voice. Our players' facial expressions will be translated onto their avatars' face. Combine that with a player's voice correctly positioned in the virtual world, and you have the most lifelike player-to-player communication ever."

Peter Busch, vice president of business development at Faceware Technologies, added: "We're seeing more and more interest in this sort of real-time animation, but Cloud Imperium is the first game company to take it to this level.

"I can't wait to see the reaction of Star Citizen fans as they chat, in-game, about their next mission, their ships, or what they had for breakfast. Player-driven characters could change multiplayer games forever."

The facial recognition software can be used with a normal webcam but Faceware are also set to release their own facial motion sensor.

Busch shared: "Most built-in cameras have wide angle lenses - which is great for larger rooms - but they are not focused on the particular user, making the users' face much smaller (less pixels) in the image. Most users would notice different results from the two types of cameras ... in a subtle way, [such as] loss of good lip sync in their characters, variable quality of motion in low light settings, and generally 'less motion' due to lower frame rate."

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