Sony May Allow Players To Merge Faces With In-Game Characters
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Sony Interactive Entertainment was recently awarded a patent for a system that enables players to merge their own facial features with in-game characters using a selfie taken from their mobile phones.
The patent introduces customisable attributes for the character’s face, such as colour and age modification, as well as the ability to alter dialogue and voice by incorporating the player’s recorded voice or text input.
Players can scan a quick response (QR) code with their phone’s camera, triggering a picture application that captures their image and sends it to a server, which then alters the video game character’s face based on the player’s picture and sends it back to the player’s device.
The system includes a sharing application that allows players to send the image of the altered character with their face to other users, who can display it on their own devices.
The system can generate videos that incorporate the player’s voice, and it has the potential to modify entire video game scenes based on the player’s preferences, including changing dialogues to use the player’s name or custom text.
Sony Interactive Entertainment has recently unveiled a patent titled “TECHNIQUES FOR COMBINING USER’S FACE WITH GAME CHARACTER AND SHARING ALTERED CHARACTER,” which was filed in January 2022 and published earlier this month. The patent outlines a unique system that allows players to merge their own facial features with those of in-game characters using a selfie captured from their mobile phones.
Furthermore, the patent goes beyond mere facial merging and introduces the concept of customisable attributes for the character’s face, including options to modify colour and age. It also offers the ability to alter dialogue and voice by incorporating the player’s recorded voice or text input. The resulting modified character, featuring the player’s face, can then be displayed on a screen and possibly seamlessly integrated into the gameplay experience.
“A technique presents on a display a computer game character and a first scannable code (SC) scannable by a camera of at least a first user apparatus to cause a server to download to the first user apparatus a photo app operable to generate a photo of a first user and send the photo to the server, which alters the character in accordance with the photo,” reads the abstract for the patent.
“The character with the face altered is presented along with a second SC that can be scanned to cause the server to download to the first user apparatus a share app operable to select a second user apparatus to send an image of the character with the face altered in accordance with the photo such that the second user apparatus can display the character with the face altered in accordance with the photo.”
Sony Interactive Entertainment’s idea is to allow players to scan a quick response (QR) code using their mobile phone’s camera, which triggers a download of a picture application. The player then takes a picture of themselves using the application, which is sent to a server.
The server alters the video game character’s face based on the player’s picture and sends the modified character back to the player’s device. The player can see the video game character with their face altered on their screen. Additionally, there is another scannable quick response (QR) code that can be scanned to download a sharing application.
This sharing application allows the player to select another person’s device and send them an image of the video game character with the altered face. The recipient can then display the character with the player’s face on their own device.
One intriguing aspect of the system is that it is not limited to static images; instead, it can also generate videos that include the player’s voice. The patent explicitly mentions, “Text as input by the user and voice as spoken by the user and picked up using a microphone may be morphed onto the game character as well as set forth further below.”
Moreover, the system extends its capabilities beyond simply sharing modified characters with other players. It has the potential to modify entire video game scenes based on the player’s preferences. “A prompt 1206 may be presented to allow the user to change native dialog of the game associated with the character 1204 to use the user’s name (by selecting selector 1208) or another fanciful name input by the user (by selecting selector/input field 1210),” reads the patent.
“Thereafter, as the game and/or selected clip of the game is presented, the dialog played on audio speakers is changed such that whenever the native name of the character 204 is to be uttered, the name selected by the user is played instead.”
To facilitate these functionalities, a dedicated user interface is described in the patent, “The UI 1602 may include a selector 1606 selectable to allow a user to dub the user’s voice onto dialog to be spoken by the character. The user may record a clip of his voice as indicated at 1608 by means of, e.g., a microphone on the user apparatus. The voice characteristics of the recorded voice are used to modify the voice of the character 1604.”
Furthermore, it appears that players may have the ability to not only customise the dialogues spoken in their own voice but potentially modify the content of these dialogues as well. Sony Interactive Entertainment specifies allowing players to choose between having the character speak the video game’s native dialogue in their own voice or creating custom dialogue by dictating into a microphone or inputting text that will be converted to speech for the character.
Player customisations have long been a part of the video game industry, and companies like Electronic Arts are exploring innovative systems, such as generating dynamic animations based on real-life videos. These advancements open up numerous possibilities for players to share personalised experiences and foster a lively community centred around in-game customisation.
However, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s patent has the potential to usher in a new era of personalised gaming, allowing players to fully immerse themselves as the main characters in their virtual adventures. It’s worth noting, of course, that the granting of a patent doesn’t necessarily mean immediate implementation, and only time will tell how or if Sony Interactive Entertainment plans to integrate this remarkable system into its existing and upcoming video game platforms.
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