We all wonder what our lives will be like in the future. Will my kids be healthy? What are the effects of climate change? Do we have jet packs? Will I have giant old man ears? So many questions.
This new campaign from European telecom giant Orange and agency Publicis Conseil aims to address your curiosity with its #FutureSelf campaign. To celebrate the brand’s 20th anniversary, Publicis enlisted digital shop Jam3 to build an online experience that gives you a glimpse of what your future self might look and be like. Using motion capture software and a combination of 3D rendering, aging simulation and browser technologies like Google’s speech API and WebGL, Jam3 built a site that allows you and a version of your future self to chat, via webcam.
We’ve seen sites before where you could insert your face onto/into other beings and scenarios, and we’ve seen age-ifying apps. But this experience takes time travel to the next level. Adrian Belina, Partner and Creative Director at Jam3 says #futureself was one of the most challenging projects the shop has done to date. “The technology behind the site reaches a whole other level of difficulty and innovation,” says Belina. “Creatively our biggest challenge was to move beyond the typical “face in the hole” (“Elf Yourself”)-type site where the end result is a flat photo that’s been ‘puppet-ed’ South Park style. To achieve a realistic look, we modeled a true-to-human face, head and shoulders that would work in WebGL, used a facial motion capture software (that is generally only used by video game studios) to record the life like responses, scanned and analyzed someone’s face over webcam, and then went on to apply dynamic light and texture.” Aside from delivering a degree of realism–so that every shape and size of person could be created from one model, Belina says the team had to incorporate Google’s speech API so that users could have a conversation with themselves, and then make it work on mobile and in multiple languages. “We knew it was a crazy idea with a whole new level of difficulty, but we love to innovate and see how far we can push technology,” says Belina.