Veeso VR headset captures and displays facial expressions in real time
Mon 25 Jul 2016
The Veeso virtual reality headset, a smartphone-based VR headset reminiscent of Samsung VR, includes functionality that can capture a user’s facial expressions and display them in real time on a digital avatar.
The headset, which is currently raising funds on Kickstarter, aims to provide a new depth to virtual interaction. By providing a method for displaying facial expressions in real time, users can react to one another on a more cooperative, emotional level. According to the site, “A first of its kind, our headset and software allows users to not only communicate with one another in VR; but to emote.”
The new facial recognition and display technology involves the use of two infrared cameras aimed at the user’s face. The first captures the position of the eyes and eyebrows, the second the mouth and jaw. This provides full-face coverage, to comprehensively capture expressions. The cameras use positions of points of the face to mimic the user with a digital facial expression that is displayed on a VR avatar in real time.
Veeso intends to differentiate itself from other virtual reality devices by offering a multi-layered interactive experience. Existing VR technology tracks body and eye movements, but Veeso is the first to add expressions to an avatar in real time. They intend this to allow a user to become the protagonist of their favorite VR games by personalizing existing characters with their own expressions, to provide increased social interactions with friends on VR social networks, and to offer ‘unprecedented insight into your emotional journey’ in the VR environment.’
There is a functioning prototype of the Veeso VR headset that is Android and iOS compatible. Once the facial expressions are captured in the headset, the information is communicated to a mobile device through Bluetooth. The prototype uses a power cable, but the final product will have an integrated battery pack and be fully wireless.
Contributors to the project on Kickstarter can receive a headset (for contributions of $70 or more), a headset and dev kit (for $80), all the way up to a family pack of four headsets for $360, or two headsets and an invitation to an exclusive launch party for $1500 or more. The company’s fundraising effort is scheduled through August on Kickstarter with a goal of $80,000. The first headsets are expected to be delivered in December 2016.