Struggling in the consumer market Microsoft has moved into the virtual human market with the introduction of Milo a “virtual human” who reacts to emotion, touch and voice.
A spin off from the development work the company has been doing with their Xbox 360 motion controller called Kinect which is set to be launched later this year in Australia, the new Microsoft technology is the brainchild of veteran UK games designer Peter Molyneux, according to the BBC.
“I want to introduce a new revolution in storytelling,” he told the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Global conference in Oxford. “Films, TV, even hallowed books, are just rubbish because they don’t involve me,” he said. “It’s a sea of blandness.”
Mr Molyneux said that he wanted to create a character “that seemed alive, that would look me in the eyes, and feel real”.
“There was a huge row online about that with people saying ‘this can’t be real’,” Mr Molyneux said.
The BBC said that the live demonstration used Microsoft’s soon-to-be released Kinect controller, which uses a series of sensors, cameras and microphones to interpret a player’s intentions.
The demo was conducted by an assistant, who showed Milo exploring a garden, learning to skim stones and finally confiding in him after being told off by his parents.
“We’re changing the mind of Milo constantly,” he said.
“No two people’s Milos can be the same – you are actually sculpting a human being. Some of the things you are doing will change the course of his life.”