Could virtual personalities be the future of oral storytelling?
Since the introduction of the Amazon Alexa and Google Home, Tellables, an app developer specializing in voice-driven storytelling, has been delivering easily-accessible audio tales through these voice assistant devices via simplistic commands, such as “Alexa, open my box of chocolates” or “Alexa, open Tricky Genie.”
Teaming up with Amazon, the company has now set its sights on more visual storytelling through its use of virtual human storytellers. Powered by the Amazon Sumerian proprietary VR & AR development platform, these AI-powered personalities will recite engaging, original audio-based stories in natural, human voices; further enhanced by well-timed gestures and various other immersion-enhancing techniques.
According to Tellables, these virtual storytellers will also be capable of understanding multiple spoken languages and respond to certain questions and commands.
“When you see the storyteller talking and using gestures for emphasis, you almost feel like you’re engaging with a real person. It’s a more compelling experience than simply hearing a voice coming from a smart speaker.”
Based on the media provided it appears as though Tellable will be utilizing Amazon’s existing Sumerian Hosts, customizable digital characters which can be used to narrate scripts, answer questions, and help guide users through a program or experience.
Tellable’s VR storytellers will be available in both virtual and augmented reality through a variety of Sumerian-supported headsets, smart devices, and web browsers. Tellable will be showcasing the technology next week at the Alexa World’s Fair in Chattanooga, TN from January 15–19, 2019. Stapleton will elaborate further on the medium during his panel, “Capturing Attention: Using Alexa to Tell Stories”, Tuesday, January 15 from 11:45 – 12:30pm.
With other companies working on their own form of virtual personalities, we could very well be witnessing the dawn of the virtual assistant. Health industry professionals Electronic Caregiver showcased their own virtual personality at this years Consumer Electronics Expo designed to provide more intimate healthcare services, while hologram specialists Gatebox have been offering their own line-up of at-home virtual assistants for over a year.
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