Haptek Continues To Advance Its 3D Character Technology

SANTA CRUZ, California, October 4, 2002 - Haptek, the world leader in artificial character technology, today announced the release of its new Generation-4 Player*. This new player takes interactivity and realism of real-time characters to a level never before seen online or in games. The player deploys "Software Personalities", a name coined by Chris Shaw, CEO of Haptek, to describe autonomous 3D interactive characters with human or synthetic speech, realistic, automated expressions and behaviors that are delivered at 1/50th the bandwidth of streaming video.

The most important new features that will really excite the viewer are “muscle deformation” and “real world physics” which directly influence the responsiveness of the character. Until now, online characters (or avatars) have been rather stiff, but the innovative team at Haptek has developed new technology with significantly differentiating features: fluid full-body movement and realistic physical responsiveness. The simulation of gravity, body tissue, spring constants, mass and reactive actions will put Haptek in a league all its own, and the public will finally have the chance to experience a real-time character with muscles that bulge, fat that jiggles, and the richness and realism exceeding that of a fully rendered character.

“We continually see competing technologies drop functionality and actually resort to cheap little tricks to make the viewer “think” that they are viewing an “interactive” character - this is false economics” said Jack Wiley, CFO of Haptek, “we don’t believe in moving backward, we’re going to stay the course and continue to bring the public the best and most human artificial character possible.” Haptek's focus will be to continue research and development in this arena - a photorealistic character with this level of physical response and automatic emotion is the holy grail of online actors, game characters, and even animated characters for movies. As this “real-time” realism exceeds the richness of current fully rendered characters, we will see a revolution in the way animated movies are made and actually witness a "Simone" type movie created using a truly synthetic actor, acting directly opposite today’s human actors in real-time, at 24 to 30 frames per second - Haptek’s technology today delivers on that promise.

We can apply Software Personalities to the gaming environment as well - using Haptek’s technology, the game character can look you in the eye, and when a competing element comes into the field of view so goes the character's gaze - not only that, but the game character will also autonomously react with convincing emotion (happy, sad, fearful, angry, etc.). These automated reactive behaviors and fluid movements are fundamental elements that should be a part of every computer game character and Haptek not only brings this to the table, but backs up the ability to license such capability with its patents. The intellectual property holdings of Haptek tell the tale of a true leader in this market. As far back as 1995 Haptek started filing patents outlining ownership of control and manipulation of 2D and 3D images. The online software personality is fundamentally Haptek's territory, especially when you weigh-in the patents currently owned by Haptek, and the continued innovated approach of Haptek’s development team.

*The Haptek Generation-4 Player is a plug-in for Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, and Mozilla Browsers. It ships with an ActiveX control ready to be used in any program supporting ActiveX controls, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Visual C, Borland C++ Builder, etc. It is by far the easiest way to integrate a synthetic actor with your website or software application.

For more information on Haptek’s Generation-4 commercial software - please contact Jack Wiley, Business Development, Haptek, Inc. at (831) 728-0770 or by email at jack@haptek.com.


Jack Wiley, CFO
Haptek, Inc.
P.O. Box 965
Freedom, California 95019-0965
(831) 728-0770

Haptek® PeoplePutty® and Haptek Generation-4™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Haptek, Inc. All other names and/or brands are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.