Friday, September 23, 2011

Exploring OddCast: Text to Speech, 3D Photo Face, & Augmented Reality

I'm not sure how many of you have already heard about OddCast. I first discovered about it while bloghopping; I saw a widget from a blog that translates languages and pronounces the translations for you. You can choose from a number of characters available, male or female, with options like pronouncing English the American way or the English (UK) way. Enthusiastic I was, I went to their main site and discovered a lot more technologies from them.

Here are some of the OddCast Technologies which I enjoyed the most:

Text to Speech Translator

Though we already have Google Translate, nothing can be as interesting as having an avatar do the talking. And as I mentioned above, you can choose from different accents may it be English (American), English (UK), English (European), etc. when you translated a language to English.

3D Photo Face

This is getting much more interesting, what if you can set how your avatar looks like? Yes, you can. Just upload your photo (abiding all instructions regarding the photo), and you may set and adjust what it will say. Voila~ you have a virtual avatar of yourself!

This is an example photo. Ugh, I'm so shameless. 

You can modify the background, choose from different tones of voices, and the look of the player.
Of course, you can set whatever you want your avatar to say. :)
You may create yours by visiting this page.

By the way, they also have some widgets where you can also upload your photo and you will be on some video clips from films like The Hills Have Eyes, Alien, The Omen, and more. Visit their widgets page.

I remembered Weird Al Yankovic's parody of Lady Gaga's Born This Way where Al's face is patched on the face of the woman who did all the Gaga dancing, had so much laughs on this one.

Head Tracking Augmented Reality

For this you'll be needing a web camera. If you are familiar with Microsoft Kinect then you might already have the idea on how this works. Well, the program detects your face using the camera, and does whatever the program needs to do, most likely to do animations or to add some stuff on the video like adding a mustache, a hat, etc.

I'm wearing a V mask this time. Shame is back. Lol.
The body follows mah face. Whoa.
To try this yourself, go here.

If you are a developer and already has some ideas on what to build with these capabilities, OddCast has the APIs you can use. Just go here to see the options.

All of their technologies are built with Flash. Though most web geeks predict that Flash is going to die anytime sooner because of the development of HTML5, Flash still has a space on the web. The question is, can these technologies be built with HTML5, Canvas, and WebGL as well? That's not impossible.

Anyway, enjoy exploring OddCast. Share your favorites. :)


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