EverQuest II gets new SOEmote technology

This news is interesting on two different levels. First, I'm rather surprised that EverQuest II is still played enough that Sony Online Entertainment is adding features to the game. Second, the new SOEmote feature is actually very cool. The idea behind the new feature is to bring emotions to your in game avatar by mimicking the player's own expressions.

SOEmote promises to bring both visual and audible personalities of the player to their in game avatar using your typical webcam and computer. Sony says that the new feature gives players of the MMORPG game the sort of facial animation technology typically used in Hollywood movies for creating digital characters. The new feature was available as of yesterday.

SOEmote features Live Driver technology, which is a real-time facial analysis system with expression tracking and animation technology used with standard web cams. The system can analyze thousands of expression measurements each second and then send that data to the virtual character's expressions precisely in real time. That means if the gamer frowns, the avatar on the screen will frown as well.

The system also has voice fonts that allow the players voice to sound like any character they play. The idea is to allow the gamers voice to sound like their character or other voices of their choice. This sounds like an interesting feature, do you think it will add to the value of MMORPG games such as EverQuest II.