A virtual sign language person.
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Dateline: 11/01/00
SigningAvatar page

Every once in a while an application appears that is so extraordinary, and makes such good use of 3D for the Web that all the arguments over standards and technical issues seem worth it. SigningAvatarTM from Vcom3D is one of these rare applications. Simply put it's a virtual sign language translator.

Imagine having the ability to click on a little hand icon which opens up a window that presents the viewer with an avatar that is signing the content of a Web page or video. It's a reality now. At the moment you have to contract with Vcom3D to add the avatars to your content but by the middle of next year you'll be able to author the avatars yourself.

SigningAvatar SigningAvatar SigningAvatar

In addition to the demonstration of signing Web pages, there is also a demo of SigningAvatar's working with video. A streamed video that links the VRML animation with Media Player is available.

signing avatar video

At the Web3D Roundup in July 2000, at Siggraph 2000 Vcom3D walked away with two of the Golden Lasso awards, "Best in Education" and the "Best Overall". The demo of SigningAvatar was the clear highlight of the night and was even more interesting given the partially intoxicated nature of the crowd. The crowd was EXTREMELY rowdy and somewhat unruly yelling and being somewhat problematic to virtually all the presenters. When Ed Sims of Vcom3D finished his presentation the crowd game him the nights one and only standing ovation thus redeeming itself as simply an unruly mob.

Vcom3D's SigningAvatar application demonstrates that fabulous applications that can actually help people's lives are possible using 3D for the Web. They are again to be highly commended. Let's hope they can actually turn this thing into a business!

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