Loom.ai Turns Your Pictures into 3D Avatars
Social media took the world by surprise and it won’t leave anywhere soon. And with social media came selfies and plenty of different styles for profile pictures, AKA avatars. But what will happen to Virtual Reality social media in the near future? It seems Loom.ai is taking care of it already. The San Francisco-based company have created a platform for generating personalized 3D avatars out of a single selfie. This will prove to be useful for the many people wishing to use VR social apps who want to wear realistic avatars while doing it.
Loom.ai Makes Virtual Reality Avatars a Reality
The company was founded by visual effects experts Kiran Bhat and Mahesh Ramasubramanian, CTO and CEO of Loom.ai respectively. The face platform is able to take 2D images of people’s faces and then generate 3D animated versions of them. Loom.ai developed its own algorithms to allow better and more powerful social interactions between people in Virtual Reality environments. The firm is also planning to release a public API soon that could improve other apps such as video games, virtual stores, virtual classrooms, etc.
“The key to building believable digital characters is to extract the perceptually salient features from a human face in 3D: for instance, Mark Ruffalo’s version of the Hulk in The Avengers. The new suite of computational algorithms built by Loom.ai will democratize the process of building believable 3D avatars for everyone, a process that was previously expensive and exclusive to Hollywood actors benefiting from a studio infrastructure.”
Said Kiran Bhat
“The magic is in bringing the avatars to life and making an emotional connection. Using Loom.ai’s facial musculature rigs powered by robust image analysis software, out partners can create personalized 3D animated experiences with the same visual fidelity seen in feature films, all from a single image.”
VR Avatars Have Their Success Guaranteed
The company recently revealed that it secured a $1.35 million USD in a seed funding round by investors from Silicon Valley. Loom.ai recently hired Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford’s VR Human Interaction Lab, and Alex Seropian, Halo creator, as advisors.
“Since the late 90’s I have been searching for an easy way to make 3D models of people – avatars that look and behave like their human counterparts. Up until now, there has been no way to do this at scale and speed. Loom.ai has provided a solution that will revolutionize how avatars are made: it’s all automatic and requires nothing more than a simple 2D image. This is important because social VR is likely to be the home run application in VR. Social Interaction via avatars will be much better than video conferencing in terms of the tangible feeling of being with another person. It all starts with building avatars that look and behave like their owners.”
Social VR apps such as vTime and AlspaceVR have already built large user communities through several inventive solutions and events. These apps and many others to come will need technologies like Loom.ai’s to allow users to automatically generate their avatars. Now imagine the possibilities if we could mix this technology with Emteq’s sensors to measure emotional responses from users. Being able to generate a realistic avatar that reacts in sync with our emotions would push the immersion level to the top.
We truly believe that within a few years, all VR headsets should include cameras inside and outside of the headset to interpret facial expressions, in order to transfer these to an avatar. Without this, “Social VR” will never be interesting to the general public.