MotionPortrait brings eerie 3D motion and sound to still photos

From the technology so scary maybe it shouldn't exist department comes a new photo imaging product called MotionPortrait. Originally developed by the Sony-Kihara Research Center and acquired by a new Japanese company calling itself MotionPortrait, the technology takes one photo and instantly transforms it into a fully realized 3D model that can be animated, placed into another 3D environment, synced with sound, and programmed to respond to various user input. In the photo above you'll see that the model was looking up at my cursor just before I initiated a screengrab of her image--very creepy. The company claims that a PC with a mere one-gigahertz CPU is enough to animate in real-time with the system and that the animations can be viewed on a cell phone with a graphic accelerator at 30 frames-per-second.

The company's site offers a myriad of possible uses for the technology from gaming applications, social network avatars and mobile phone messages, but at present it will only be offered to the public through companies integrating the technology into their own products. Despite the cool uses suggested, it's easy to imagine some of the less savory applications for a technology that can take a still photo of a person, animate it, add audio, and make it look like that person is saying something she never said in a place she's never visited. Here's a video example of the technology applied to an Anime character for the Sony PSP game Suzumiya Haruhi no yakusoku. For another example of the high strangeness of MotionPortrait, visit the company site and watch the hypnotic dog with the preternaturally human grin eyeball you in three-dimensions here.

Via MotionPortrait