Some former creatives and technicians from Pixar recently formed a new company called ToyTalk and have just launched what they think is the next big step in entertainment: an interactive entertainment app featuring a digital character as the host of a virtual variety/talk show called The Winston Show and the user as the guest star.
The app uses voice recognition and other technology to generate engaging, dynamic animated content driven by the user, so each experience is different and unique based on the selections and answers provided by the "guest." So when the characters ask the user a question, the person is able to respond back by voice, selecting an option, and other means of communication. So, the character can actually "hear" the user and respond in kind.
Youngsters (the app is geared toward children five years old and up) interact with the character Winston and his sidekick Ellington, created using Autodesk Maya. Proprietary information pulls together the animation, voice-overs, backgrounds, and so forth, and streams it to the user without any lag time.
The app directs users to a virtual studio lot, where they can currently select one of five stages where various activities await.
The app is available in the Apple Store.
See the video from the SIGGRAPH 2013 CGW Student Volunteer Get Connected! Session featuring Bobby Podesta, COO of this new venture..