Sony Online Entertainment Applies Facial Analysis To Game

San Diego-based Sony Online Entertainment has rolled out a new technology for its popular EverQuest II online game, which allows users to control their avatars' faces and change their voices, as part of a deal with Santa Monica-based Image Metrics. Sony said its new SOEmote technology, available to all of its EverQuest II players, uses standard web cameras to analyze expressions on a player and transfer that data to their characters' faces. The two said they are tapping technology developed by Image Metrics for real-time facial analysis, expression tracking, and animation for the feature. The launch is the first time facial analysis has been applied to online games; Image Metrics had previously applied its technology to motion capture in Hollywood.