Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Wednesday 3/10/2001Australian software company Blaze International says it has a neat gimmick -- an Instant Messaging client that takes incoming messages, turns them to speech and animates a graphical head that looks like your correspondent. Blaze has sorted out all the tools to create the head and link in the various data streams, and the idea certainly sounds like a laugh.

Wednesday 3/10/2001

Australian software company Blaze International says it has a neat gimmick -- an Instant Messaging client that takes incoming messages, turns them to speech and animates a graphical head that looks like your correspondent. Blaze has sorted out all the tools to create the head and link in the various data streams, and the idea certainly sounds like a laugh.

But there's no mention of whether they've taken the next logical step. By analysing the quality of your typing, the time of day or night and perhaps by some other biometric tests, it could further modify the talking head to match your physical and emotional state. That early-morning message could have stubble, bleary eyes and a grumpy demeanour, while the post-pub chat session could be extra-animated but a little slurred. This is the sort of thing we need to make the computer better accepted -- get it to replicate the sins of its masters and everyone will feel much more comfortable.