Monday, October 5, 2009

Avatars: How real is too real? Evolver's Brian Nilles replies.

Most industry folks would probably tell you that it's important to make avatars look realistic. After all, if you're in world, you have to be able to identify yourself, as well as others. And a realistic-looking avatar helps create a real-world feel and experience. But is there a point where real becomes too real? Like to the point of "you're-really-freakin'-me-out" real?

The more official term for this phenomenon is "uncanny valley," and I had to ask Brian Nilles about it when we crossed paths at the 3D TLC Conference. He's the CEO of Evolver, an online portal that lets you create an avatar of yourself which can then be used in a number of 3-D and 2-D settings. The unique aspect of Evolver is how realistic and detailed these avatars look. Hop over to their site to get a glimpse.

Obviously, Evolver has built a business around this technology. But in my interview with Brian, I ask him if he thinks Evolver avatars are potentially crossing the "creepy" line. We also talk about the latest technology coming out of the company, and how he's been occupying his time at the show.

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