What if, the next time you played a video game, the main character not only looked like you but had the same body, same clothes, same everything? How would it change the way you related to the game? How would it change the way you relate to the other characters in it? I found out.
A team co-led by Ari Shapiro at the Institute for Creative Technologies at USC just gave us an exclusive first-look at a new system they are calling Fast Avatar Capture. It scans you and creates a 3D avatar you can put inside a game. And it does it in two minutes, using a plain old Xbox Kinect.
If it sounds familiar, you might be thinking of the similar proof-of concept rig that Nikon showed off at CES. There, you stood inside a gigantic sphere tricked out with 64 Nikon DLSR cameras. It look an image of you from every angle, and then sent that data through three computers. Two hours of processing later, you had a video-game-ready avatar. It looked awesome when it was done. It's also totally impractical for home use.