Our proprietary methodology dynamically tracks the face.
Markerless Facial Tracking Technology
Contributed by | Nito Inc.
Please give us a bit of background about Nito and your 3D animation technology.
The idea of Nito was born in early 2013, and after research and spec work the company was founded on January 1 of 2014. Creative visionary Obi Onyejekwe and entertainment tech veteran Hoyt David Morgan teamed up to found the company together. Nito has developed a new methodology for dynamically tracking the human face and applied it to animation that allows animation of 3D and 2D avatars in real time. Animation mimics a user perfectly, even subtle expressions like an eye roll or eyebrow raise.
I understand Nito has both a consumer and a PRO version. Tell me a little about them both.
The consumer app is a fun way for users to create content and send messages in an animated world. Users "become" an avatar. As Nito grows, the company will introduce new Nito characters and license famous avatars so fans can more deeply engage with characters that they know and love, and future versions of the app will allow users to customize and design their own avatars. The goal is to create an immersive animated entertainment experience for users.
The PRO version is desktop software for studios, agencies and brands to quickly and inexpensively create high quality animated content for web and social promotion. The program can also be used to create content for other mediums as well to suit clients’ needs. PRO has advanced features like HD and unlimited video length, custom characters and backgrounds and the ability to output in web-ready format or a format which can be further edited to add in special effects and more.
Nito uses a patent-pending markerless facial tracking technology. Can you explain what Nito is doing differently than other similar technologies?
Our proprietary methodology dynamically tracks the face. Other tech in the marketplace relies on a database of learned data, which limits facial tracking in many situations, i.e., unique face types, glasses, hair, etc. can throw off the tracking. Additionally, our PRO software is designed specifically for professional promotion on social platforms, and we do not see comparable software in the market.
What are the main applications for Nito?
Nito is an entertainment and messaging app that can be used by any age to share a variety of messages, emotions and expressions. Family members can send each other silly and humorous messages and kids can share messages with each other and be creative with how they animate their avatars. Nito can also be a great bridge between generations as it is easy technology for parents and grandparents to use to connect with their children and grandchildren. As for entertainment, anyone who appreciates comics, animation and animated characters will enjoy using the app to message with and show off to fellow fans.
Nito PRO is a powerful branding and promotions tool. Companies can animate characters and mascots associated with their brand to create content for a variety of forums, but primarily for social and the web. The real time animations allow for live video tweets, social media engagement and online promotion of all kinds. Further, brands can also incorporate their characters into the consumer App - imagine having customers assume the identity of your brand mascot to create testimonials or to send messages to a friend – essentially becoming brand ambassadors. This is a truly engaging way for consumers to connect and form a deeper relationship with brands and share their enthusiasm for brands they like.
What are the non-entertainment uses for Nito?
Nito PRO is a tool for content producers, brands and products (like toys). Creating real-time animation is a new and powerful way to engage with fans and customers, create brand messaging and merchandize intellectual property (by promoting physical items or selling an actual virtual good/digital avatar).
Are there robotic applications for the software?
Nito is not currently focused on robotics. Theoretically a user could control a robot’s expressions and movements using a customized version of our tracking methodology, though.
How are you developing new markets for Nito?
The developers and executive team at Nito listen to customers and the markets. Based on feedback, the company designs great products and works very hard on outreach to keep the conversation going with clients and fans.
How do you expect Nito to change the technologies already out there?
Nito expects a much more immersive and personalized entertainment experience. People are no longer just watching media, they are participating in it. Virtual reality gets a lot of press, but Nito believes augmented reality is just as big and important moving forward. People can take a part of themselves - in our case their very personal expressions and movements - into a virtual world, which could include animated entertainment and games.
Where do you see Nito in 1, 3 and 5 years?
1 year - Nito will have its next generation of both the consumer and PRO versions.
3 - 5 years: We expect Nito to grow into significant entertainment company. How we get there will be the fun and challenging part. Our plan is confidential but I'm sure there will be unseen turns in the road, too.
Is Nito available now?
The consumer iOS app is now available on iTunes:
We are launching a MAC desktop version of the consumer app in August and an Android version in September. Nito PRO is available now.
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of HomeToys
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