(Los Angeles, California--December 10, 2008) Big Stage Entertainment, Inc., a media technology company that lets consumers project themselves photo-realistically into the digital realm, is opening its proprietary 3-D facial modeling system to third parties for seamless integration into video games, virtual worlds, Web sites, mobile apps, kiosk-based systems and more.
This new program, called PortableYou™, enables any third party to offer a consumer experience that features an animated, 3-D likeness of a user to enhance everything from entertainment to communications and retail.
A key feature of PortableYou is the ability for partners to enable their own users to easily create a sophisticated 3-D model of their face for free. Through the PortableYou system, realistic facial models can be created in less than two minutes using one to three photos taken with a standard digital camera. Core components of the PortableYou system will include APIs, code samples, methods and reference libraries.
"By offering a powerful, unified system for the integration of a realistically animated 3-D version of yourself into your digital life, PortableYou has the potential to revolutionize how we both entertain ourselves and communicate through digital media," said Phil Ressler, Big Stage Entertainment CEO. "With the high level of personalization that PortableYou makes possible, digital media can evolve to truly reflect who we are in the real world, whether through life-like extension or alter ego fantasy. Faces are fundamental to human communication and adding recognizable, animated avatars to an application changes it fundamentally."
First Virtual Worlds to Integrate PortableYou
White label virtual world developer, Icarus Studios, and virtual conferencing company, The Venue Network (TVN) will be using PortableYou to add realistic, animated avatar creation capabilities to their offerings so users can insert their own faces onto their 3-D digital representative used in virtual worlds.
Icarus Studios is a leading provider of white label massively multi-player online games, virtual worlds and serious games for major entertainment, corporate and government clients. Icarus Studios is integrating PortableYou with its technology platform to allow users to easily build avatars that look just like them for use in its games and virtual environments.
"Given the complexity of human faces, developing high-fidelity, realistic facial construction systems for avatars is incredibly costly and requires highly specialized skill sets," said James Hettinger CEO, Icarus Studios. "PortableYou offers an easy and cost-effective way for us to integrate sophisticated cloning capabilities into the virtual worlds we create. Our clients are very excited that their users can now create accurate virtual representations of themselves for use in their worlds, at development costs that generate significant ROI for incorporating the innovation in user experience that the PortableYou system make possible."
The Venue Network is integrating PortableYou technology into its flagship product, VenueGen, which is scheduled to launch in early 2009. Currently in beta, VenueGen is a browser-based application that enables users to quickly create and customize on-demand virtual events and drag 2D content such as Adobe Flash and Microsoft PowerPoint directly into the 3D gathering.
The Venue Network is using PortableYou to enable its users to create a personalized avatar for educational and corporate functions by simply uploading a photo of a user's face taken with a standard digital camera. VenueGen users' avatars will be recognizable on sight complete with facial expressions and lip synchronization.
"Many companies are currently evaluating virtual 3D conferencing as an alternative to costly real-world events and as a more personal, immersive and engaging experience than what 2D Web conferencing tools can provide," said David Gardner, CEO of The Venue Network. "The incredible fidelity and simplicity of this technology were the critical factors in The Venue Network's selection of PortableYou".
About Big Stage Entertainment, Inc.
Big Stage Entertainment, Inc. is a media technology company that enables the projection of self into the digital realm. With Big Stage Entertainment products and services, accessible at BigStage.com, consumers can create a fully photorealistic, 3-D, animated @ctor to represent themselves in online communities and insert themselves in digital media, including video clips, flip movies and still images. Big Stage @ctors can also participate in games and entertainment on the Web and mobile handsets. At BigStage.com, anyone can generate a free, animated 3-D @ctor by uploading digital photos of their face for instant placement throughout the digital landscape. It's The Digital You™.
Using Big Stage Entertainment's BackStage product, business clients and partners can create interactive experiences under their own brands that allow consumers to create @ctors and engage with those brands through personalization of creative content and messaging via video games, mobile devices and on-location kiosks. Big Stage Entertainment's B2B solutions are the premier vehicles for powering personalized, participative media. Headquartered in South Pasadena, CA, Big Stage Entertainment investors include Mission Ventures, Selby Ventures and Tech Coast Angels. For more information, please visit www.bigstage.com
About Icarus Studios
Icarus Studios is a leading provider of white label massively multi-player online games, virtual worlds, and serious games for major entertainment, corporate, and government clients. Icarus Studios provides its partners a total solution that includes design and content production, monetization, customer support, hosting, and a tightly integrated technology platform. The Icarus technology platform was built from the ground-up on industry standards to accelerate time to market, reduce development and running costs, and enable new revenue streams through 3D, Web, Flash, and mobile user experiences. Icarus Studios is a North Carolina-based company with over 100 experienced professionals and an executive team with over twenty years each in entertainment, gaming, and business.
About The Venue Network
The Venue Network, Inc. is a new media company that provides on-demand virtual venues where presenters can share their content and customize unique event experiences for online attendees. TVN is the next generation of 3D technology designed and built for the specific purpose of equipping virtual presenters with powerful and intuitive communication capabilities and reach. Through the use of avatars, TVN enables companies and individuals to virtually and realistically share their knowledge, interests and passions together unhindered by distance, time and impractical costs. TVN empowers an online community of intellectually curious individuals to create immersive and interactive learning, collaborative, social and entertainment experiences.