Meet Microsoft Xbox’s Bizarre ‘Virtual Human’

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Meet Milo, he’s extremely perceptive, able maintain intelligible conversation, can read even your subtlest emotion, and won’t ever forget your name. Did we mention he’s a video game character?

Now, we know virtual reality has come a long was since Asteroids’ hay day but I’m not sure anyone can say they were prepared for Microsoft’s latest Xbox innovation, the ‘Virtual Human’. Attendees of this year’s TED Global (Technology, Entertainment and Design) event were the second group to “meet” Milo and experience this entirely new breed of gaming. (The character debuted at the E3 conference in 2009 but hasn’t been seen since.)

The technology utilizes a series of motion sensors, video cameras, and microphones used to interpret a gamers’ intention. Peter Molyneux, the game’s designer explains that the system “exploited psychological techniques to make a person feel that Milo was real” and that, “in addition, software allowed complete control over subtle facial expressions such as blushing, and even the diameter of Milo’s nostrils which could denote stress”.

Don’t believe it? Check out the demonstration video. It’s bound to shock and awe but unfortunately announcements have yet to be made regarding the game’s release. Looks like we’ll all just have to continue talking to real people for the interim. Damn. (via the BBC)