The PlayStation Vita's facial recognition avatar chat system is pretty awesome, but it's a little creepy at the same time.
If you've ever wanted to chat with your friends as an anthropomorphic panther that mimics your every head and facial movement, you're in luck when it comes to the PS Vita. Sony has unveiled a video chat system for the new handheld that uses the Vita's front-facing camera to read your face and transfer its movements over to a virtual avatar.
It's a very cool addition to the Vita's capabilities. A demonstration video shows a man and a woman chatting with each other, one as a humanoid panther and the other as the little doll girl that stalks me in my nightmares.
The system works pretty well for a demo, showing the avatars' mouths opening and closing, heads tilting, and eyes blinking as the actual people speaking do the same. Their eyelids might go a little crazy at times, but kinks like that can be worked out. If not, freaky eyes will just be a bonus of the system.
Sony's technology looks similar to Microsoft's Avatar Kinect which also transfers facial movement onto a virtual avatar for the purpose of chatting. I like the two systems a lot, because sometimes you want to have a chat with someone but you don't want to put on a shirt or pants. Avatar chat takes care of that issue, and also allows you to look like a dapper feline at the same time.