User Avatar’s are mostly driven by personal aspirations and have virtually minimum resemblance with the Real-life characteristics of the user.
The Customizable avatar is what makes Internet more safe by sharing less information online. But apparently, Microsoft is taking the Concept of Avatar’s to new level. Microsoft researchers, have applied for a patent on a system that would use health records to generate avatars that closely resemble a person’s actual physical characteristics. Think of the positives and negatives. Positive: You can actually get someone to exercise :D. On the contrary certain “health conscious” girls would never show up online just to avoid sharing their real characteristics. Sounds debatable? It’s getting lots of attention online today after Slashdot highlighted the summary.
You can read the full patent application here.
The patent applications don’t necessarily reflect the company’s actual product plans, here’s the abstract, explaining the general concept.
An avatar generator for a virtual environment reflects a physiological characteristic of the user, injecting a degree of reality into the capabilities or appearance. Thereby, many of the incentives of the real world are replicated in a virtual environment. Physiological data that reflect a degree of health of the real person can be linked to rewards of capabilities of a gaming avatar, an amount of time budgeted to play, or a visible indication. Thereby, people are encouraged to exercise. Physiological data that reflect the health and perhaps also mood also improve social interaction in virtual environments. People seeking to meet and become acquainted with particular types of people are not thwarted by the artificiality of avatars. The physiological data can be gleaned from a third party health data collection repository, a healthcare smart card, a real-time physiological sensor (e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose, peak flow, pedometer, etc.)
If I’m not wrong, this could be part of Xbox Project Natal.