Over the years, video games have provided various tools to create characters in whatever image we wish. Some create unique characters that they feel best reflect whatever world they’re inhabiting, while many attempt to personally experience that journey by replicating themselves. Uraniom is aiming to bring a player’s likeness not just into one game, but to all of them. The idea is that by using a 3D-capable mobile device, players scan their likeness, customize the details, and then install them into various games and start playing. Uraniom isn’t just stopping at video games, either. Their “universal” avatar will be used for VR/AR applications of all kinds and we spoke with the Uraniom founder via email about this new program.
“Until now, integrating a new character into a 3D environment required the expertise and manual operation of a 3D specialist,” writes Uraniom founder and CEO Loic Ledoux. “As 3D scanning is about to be mainstream, we created a tech to transform a ‘basic’ head scan into a fully playable avatar, ready to be plugged into any game engine.”
In their clever video, Uraniom takes on a style reminiscent of Old Spice commercials to share the First Ubiquitous Man. In the trailer, you see the main actor as he’s transported through key gaming worlds and alludes to 3D avatar use on social VR platforms as well.
“We want to redefine what is your virtual identity. Of course, you will have a perfect look-alike avatar for some situations (e.g. business collaboration),” Loic explains. “However, what if you chose to have an avatar with a different look for meeting with your families, or something specific to strangers, or kids? We want the users to have complete control of their digital self, in all digital environments, whatever the device or the platform.”
The technology behind the head scans is proprietary, and the company says it enriches the scans so they can be displayed and animated in any game engine available. We’re not sure how Uraniom will fit into the VR ecosystem, and they’re far from the only company trying to create good 3D scans of people, but a standard way of providing an avatar across different devices, apps and services is certainly an intriguing idea.