2/8/2006 - SeeStorm - technology pioneer and innovator in speech-to-motion and synthetic video conferencing, has announced that NTT DoCoMo, the largest cellular network in Japan, has enhanced its Chara-Den service with SeeStorm 3D talking characters. Responding to the steadily increasing demand for video communication, the 3D character animation built into the latest generation of NTT DoCoMo services brings real-time video conferencing and new mobile multimedia services to more than 15 million mobile users in Japan.
NTT DoCoMo is a global pioneer in introducing real-time video conferencing services to the mobile market. Since 2001 NTT DoCoMo has been investing in development and promotion of real-time video conferencing services and launching new add-on services linked to mobile video communication including Chara-den, which enables real-time video communication via 3D animated characters (3D avatars). SeeStorm has worked with DoCoMo over the past two years, in close partnership with DIMPS, a leading Japanese mobile content aggregator, and Kyocera Communication Systems, a leading Japanese mobile systems integrator and datacenter services provider.
"We are happy with the adoption of SeeStorm 3D animation technology by Kyocera and DIMPS for the content services they are providing for NTT DoCoMo users," said Andrew Sviridenko, SeeStorm chairman and founder.
Mobile users can take photos created by a camera phone and convert them to a 3D Chara-den character, directly on the cellphone. Any portrait-style image can be used, including your own photo, a photograph of another person, favorite pet, cartoon character, or even an automobile picture. SeeStorm server software processes photo images and returns Chara-den characters ready to be used in real-time avatar-based conferencing. You can then substitute your real face with an animated image of a Chara-den at any time, while video conferencing with another user through the mobile phone. The Chara-den avatar is animated by a real-time speech stream. You can also apply emotional expressions to the characters, making characters look happy, smiling, upset, angry, surprised, confused, etc. Animated characters help to convey and share emotions. This deployment of SeeStorm 3D talking characters by NTT DoCoMo mobile service confirms the market demand for virtual characters in real-time communication.
SeeStorm services are also now available to KDDI subscribers. KDDI service "* Com" enables 3D talking characters, that "live" on mobile phone, to perform as a screensaver visualizing phone's events. KDDI is the second biggest mobile operator in Japan.
SeeStorm is technology innovator in speech-to-motion and real-time synthetic video conferencing. SeeStorm's mission is to redefine the way people communicate, visually. SeeStorm's proprietary speech processing and computer vision technologies enable real-time character animation and natural, speech-based communication, that could run on top of VoIP software.
SeeStorm is a subsidiary of SPIRIT DSP, a global leading provider of embedded voice and communication software products. SPIRIT DSP employs 120 professionals, has been in international software licensing business since 1992. SPIRIT focus is communication, speech and VoIP software products and today SPIRIT counts among its clients Adobe, Agere, Atmel, Flextronics, Ericsson, HP, HTC, Iwatsu, Kyocera, LG, Macromedia, Marconi, NEC, Nortel Networks, Oracle, PalTalk, Panasonic, Philips, Polycom, Samsung, Siemens, Texas Instruments and Toshiba, among 200+ other communication OEMs and software vendors.
About NTT DoCoMo
NTT DoCoMo is the world's leading mobile communications company with more than 50 million customers. The company provides a wide variety of leading-edge mobile multimedia services. These include i-mode®, the world's most popular mobile internet service, which provides e-mail and internet access to over 45 million subscribers, and FOMA®, launched in 2001 as the world's first 3G mobile service based on W-CDMA.
In addition to wholly owned subsidiaries in Europe and North America, the company is expanding its global reach through strategic alliances with mobile and multimedia service providers in Asia-Pacific and Europe. NTT DoCoMo is listed on the Tokyo (9437), London (NDCM), and New York (DCM) stock exchanges.
About Kyocera Communication Systems
Kyocera Communication Systems was established in 1995 and provides hosting and system integration services to large enterprises throughout Japan, including leading mobile operators. KCCS provides high value-add services and solutions for numerous companies in the IT, Mobile and Network sectors. KCCS has a worldwide employee base of about 1200 and a sales turnover of 56,934 million Yen.
About Dimps Corporation
Dimps was established in 2000 (Japan) and is a developer of video games for arcade and home entertainment systems, developer and content provider of multimedia digital contents for computer and mobile equipment. Customers include Bandai, Banpresoft, Banpresto, IXI, Namco, Sammy, Sammy NetWorks, Sega, Sony Finance International, Vivendi Universal Games. The company also is a content aggregator and provider for mobile carriers KDDI and NTT DoCoMo.
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