Japan’s Wonderport lets you speak though remote virtual characters



In a previous article, we featured a number of mobile apps that come in handy for parents. Here’s one that could be added to this list. It’s called Wonderport.

Back in December, Japanese advertising agency Dentsu and two startups, FaithCreates and Starryworks, together announced a prototype for a new kind of communication module. Wonderport is a communication system that lets users control virtual characters displayed on screen, actually speaking through them in real time. By leveraging telecommunication and voice transformation technology, the mouth of the virtual characters moves in sync with the user’s voice. So using Wonderport, parents can ask their children what they want for Christmas disguised as a virtual Santa Claus. You can check out how this works in the video below.

Enhancing communication in families is only one possible use case for Wonderport. The companies behind the product envision that it could be used in a number of different ways. For example, such virtual characters could be used to create virtual call centers, or they could be projected on huge displays at conferences or events to communicate with visitors. Wonderport can could also be pretty amazing for kids if it was installed in stuffed animals.

The product came out of an event called Super Hackathon 2013 held back in May in Osaka, Japan.