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John McCarroll
E3 2012: Sony Online Shows Off SOEmote Technology
Have you ever wanted to really be a dark elf? Now is your chance!
06.06.12 - 3:50 PM

Sony was one of the original vanguards in the MMORPG space with their release of EverQuest. Now they're innovating roleplaying itself in the MMORPG realm with their SOEmote technology, first slated for use in EverQuest II. Using a basic webcam, players will be able to track their own faces and have them mapped into their character.

This technology is available thanks to the company Image Metrics, which has worked with developers previously for motion capture, but this is one of the most advanced implementations of the technology in a consumer environment. The game tracks your pupils, head tilt, mouth, and other parts of your face and quite accurately displays them on your character. SOE showed us how it worked with a froglok character, and even with a non-human face, things worked very well. We even tried tilting our heads very wide and trying to fake out the camera, but it tracked without a hitch.

SOE wants to go forward with a lot of changes - like using it in conjunction with their existing VOIP system and implementing things like proximity-driven speech and emotes, allowing for communication like in real life. They also want to begin tracking arms and even full bodies at a point in the future, creating what would almost be a motion capture studio in your home.

While this tech will first hit EverQuest II, it will also likely be seen in other Sony Online games like the original title and Free Realms.


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