March 27, 2007
The New Face of Emoticons: Warping photos could help text-based communications become more expressive.
Computer scientists at the University of Pittsburgh have developed a way to make e-mails, instant messaging, and texts just a bit more personalized, reports the MIT Technology Review.
"Their software will allow people to use images of their own faces instead of the more traditional emoticons to communicate their mood.
By automatically warping their facial features, people can use a photo to depict any one of a range of different animated emotional expressions, such as happy, sad, angry, or surprised.
All that is needed is a single photo of the person, preferably with a neutral expression, says Xin Li, who developed the system, called Face Alive Icons. "The user can upload the image from their camera phone," he says. Then, by keying in familiar text symbols, such as ":)" for a smile, the user automatically contorts the face to reflect his or her desired expression."
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