Science fiction films have prepared us for the distinct possibility that artificial intelligence will walk among us one day. How long ? No one can tell, but it doesn’t stop a bunch of companies trying to sell ‘digital humans’ first and foremost. intelligence the thing is understood. Ah, but if you don’t want to to buy a digital human because it sounds disgusting? Rent one, of course! That’s why we now have the unfortunate acronym Digital Human as a Service (DHaaS).
The real news here is that Japanese telecommunications giant KDDI has teamed up with a company named Mawari (which means something like “environment” in Japanese) to create a virtual assistant that you can “see” through the window. of your smartphone in augmented reality. , one that might automatically appear to give you instructions and interact if you point your phone at a real-world location. (You’ll also see walking routes and indoor maps in the video, but these just appear to be grouped together as part of the proof of concept.)
If you watch the video at the top of this post, you can see that it’s not this much more advanced than, say, Pokémon Go. But behind the scenes, partners claim that KDDI’s 5G network, Amazon’s low-latency AWS Wavelength edge compute nodes, and a proprietary Mawari codec combine to allow “digital humans” to stream to your phone in real time instead of running natively on your phone. chip.
That “substantially lower[s] the heavy processing demands of digital humans in real time, reducing costs, data size and battery consumption while freeing up scalability, ”according to the press release. (It is true that AR applications like Pokémon Go tend to drain the battery, but it’s not just the graphics to blame; some use GPS, camera and cell phone simultaneously.)
Who will get on board to actually populate the metaverse with experiences designed for the “digital humans” of KDDI and Mawari and pay monthly, quarterly, or annually for the “service” part of the acronym? That’s always the question, but there’s no shortage of companies looking to take a look at the animated metaverse these days. And if they can leverage their existing buzzwords like “5G”, “IA” and “Edge Compute”, so much the better. It takes a lot of work to seem like you care about the future, and you never know if this is the time when someone actually gets it going.
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