Face and head tracking for Second Life avatars

Tateru Nino
T. Nino|12.01.08

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Face and head tracking for Second Life avatars

For those of you who are keen on hands-free avatar expressiveness in the virtual environment of Second Life comes a surprise third-party viewer from vr-wear.com. This beta viewer for Windows or Mac OSX uses a camera to track your head and expressions, and convey that to your avatar.

At present, it is all a little rudimentary, and there isn't any back-end support for sending much in the way of ad-hoc avatar motion through the Second Life servers, so the system is limited to what can be supported. At present, that appears to be lip-sync, nodding and head-shaking, surprise and smiling, and head-tilting to the left or right.

The Web-site itself is a little confusing, and some of the links just go nowhere. The software is available under several licenses including the GPL (though it doesn't say which version) depending on your intended usage. We were unable to locate any source code (there are working download links for the binaries, but the link for the download page itself is busted).

The download bundles are based on viewer versions 1.20.11 (Windows) and 1.20.17 (Mac OSX) and appear to contain a number of potentially non-redistributable components. We're not sure what the status of that is, honestly.

As always, you should consider the risks before installing third-party binaries on your system.

[Thanks Vint Falken]

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