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Newsfeed - July 18, 2017
Pasadena-based technology company ObEN has announced that they have raised $5 million strategic investment capital from Chinese telecom giant Tencent, Fengshion Capital and Li Ruigang (Chairman of CMC) to finance the development of interactive 3D avatars resembling celebrities.
Previous investment rounds have raised $8 million from the likes of Softbank and Vive, from whose virtual reality accelerator they recently emerged. ObEN’s early work involved helping gamers make realistic avatars of themselves based on selfies and brief recordings. But they have now shifted their emphasis to create avatars of celebrities that can “interact” with fans.
Their method involves using photographs and short audio samples to create a virtual celebrity using the AI techniques that they have developed in-house.
The ObEN approach differs from other companies in that ObEN is focussing on the faces of celebrities rather than creating full body scans. This simplifies the task immensely whilst at the same time serving the principal needs of the fans.