PS Vita face-tracking demo tips SmartAR gaming [Video]

Sony has demonstrated the face-recognition and tracking capabilities of the upcoming PlayStation Vita handheld, using the portable console’s front-facing camera to track head movement and have on-screen avatars respond accordingly. In the demo, filmed by Siliconera and which you can see after the cut, Sony showed a two-way video chat being held between a pair of animated avatars, the head, mouth, eye and other movements being mapped to those of the gamer.

Although head-tracking has been done before, the system Sony demonstrated was able to track minor details like eye-blinking and eyebrow twitches, for a more lifelike animation. Sony wasn’t saying a video calling app would necessarily be the final use of the technology, 4gamer reports, but that the software was merely a demonstration of the power of the Vita’s abilities and its potential in augmented reality (AR) gaming.

Rather than using specific glyphs that can be identified and tracked by an AR system, Sony’s Yoshikatsu Kanemaru suggested that objects and even people could be distinguished by the Vita and have computer-generated graphics overlaid. It’s a technology that appears to have borrowed from Sony’s previous SmartAR research, which can intelligently spot unique elements -such as posters, magazines or more complex forms, like body outlines – in the camera’s frame and then track them accordingly.

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