What if instead of the many characters we inhabit in games and applications, there was just one. A singular virtual entity resembling our own likeness to a tee, one that we can transport to any given game. No more long treks through character creators, no more Nathan Drakes and Geralts of Rivia. Just a one-time 3D scan (with an app like itSeez3D) with a capable mobile phone, a virtual personhood, and we’re ready to roll.
Nintendo’s had success with something like a universal avatar with Miis, the customizable cartoonish characters that span across a variance of systems (Wii U to 3DS), games (Mario Kart 8 to Wii Sports), and social networks (Miiverse to Miitomo). But Miis aren’t lifelike, in the technical sense, and they aren’t entirely universal. But that’s where tech company Uraniom comes in.
Uraniom wants its avatars to be without barriers
Uraniom are developing universal 3D virtual avatars for use within videogames, VR, AR, and ideally more. “We want to redefine what is your virtual identity,” said Uraniom founder and CEO Loïc Ledoux in an interview with UploadVR. “We want the users to have complete control of their digital self, in all digital environments, whatever the device or the platform.” With examples of “yourself” in The Witcher 3 (where you can mod a very un-Geralt Geralt—a.k.a. you), Grand Theft Auto V, and an augmented reality business card—Uraniom wants the possibilities for its platform to be endless and without barriers.
In a video pitch for the service, an avatar representation of Ledoux waltzes through a plethora of virtual worlds and real-life scenarios, as he crowns himself as the “First Ubiquitous Man.” A person who is anywhere at anytime, virtual or real, no matter the limitations of the space. Nothing can prevent this dude from being somewhere, basically. Not even virtual reality. In Uraniom’s vision of the future, the virtual becomes less of an escape from the outside world, and more of just another place to dwell needlessly.
But Uraniom is not alone in their noble quest for universal customizable avatars. At the Oculus Connect 3 conference earlier this year, the Facebook-owned VR company announced their own Oculus Avatars. Tossing around buzzphrases like “true social presence,” Oculus revealed that they will be launching their own brand of universal avatars alongside the Oculus Touch controllers’ release, before rolling the virtual figureheads out to mobile next year.
You can read more about Uraniom on their website here.