Project Natal May Provide Dance Controls, But 'FaceAPI' Could Let You Talk Or Make Out

FaceAPI

From what Microsoft has shown off so far, Project Natal looks like it will track various body movements for controls dealing with first-person shooters, sports games and maybe even lightsaber fights. PhD candidate Torben Sko, is concentrating on face movements in his work right now, though, and he says he's found a way to track mouths, eyes and head movements nothing nothing more than a camera.

"Using a program called 'FaceAPI,' it's possible to track a person's facial features using nothing more than a standard Web camera," he explains in a video posted to TorbenSko.com. "In turn, we can use this information to drive the expression of a virtual character."

Sko says his research demonstrates even broad applications for FaceAPI that go beyond single-player gamers.

"This technology could allow players to accurately portray themselves online for use in multiplayer games or socializing applications," he explained.

That means that one you could walk around "Second Life" or "World of Warcraft" and see your character mouthing your own words as you broadcast them to other players. It also means that full-body controls requires for controlling system like the one in this summer movie "Surrogates" may not be far off as well.

If it lets "Second Life" and "World of Warcraft" users make out with each other in-game, though, this is definitely technology to be explored further.

What do you think of the "FaceAPI" program? What applications do you think such controls will have for gaming? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.