Unlocking the Potential of “Virtual Humans”


Last week, Tencent Senior Vice President Steven Ma delivered a speech virtually on his high-fidelity digital double at Tencent’s “SPARK 2022” conference. Powered by next-gen technology, his digital double look very close to real life.

Tencent Senior Vice President Steven Ma’s digital double.

Online events aren't the only places where digital avatars are appearing and making an impact. There's an explosion across multiple sectors and the market is projected to generate $527 billion by 2030.

Virtual Influencers Go Viral

Virtual influencers are fictional characters used for marketing purposes. They include lifelike singers and bands with beautiful voices and professional dance moves. These virtual pop stars have captivated many audiences and gained mainstream popularity.

One example is Lumos, a virtual teenage vocalist. Like real-life influencers, he sings, dances and interacts with his fans.

Powered by NExT's technology, Lumos can perform with realistic facial expressions and outfits.

Thanks to the advanced tool for 3D production, Lumos has highly realistic physical features, including his hair, eyes, teeth and skin texture. The meticulous lighting and reflection of the character make it look very close to real life.

Picture of Lumos.

From Sports Events to Public Speaking

Apart from entertainment, digital human technology can be applied to fields like accessibility services and public events, offering solutions to address some challenges people faced in different scenarios.

For instance, Tencent Cloud Xiaowei’s virtual sign language interpreter Yu Ling was the sportscaster for a few sports events. Powered by multimodal interaction, 3D modeling, machine translation and speech recognition technologies, the virtual sportscaster gave a real-time commentary of the sporting events by sign language.

The virtual sportscaster allows people with hearing loss to enjoy watching exciting sports events without obstacles.

The virtual interpreter can now express over 1.6 million sign language words and phrases, with an accuracy of over 90%. The technology has been used in other venues like hospitals and will be applied to more scenarios in the future.

Besides, at Tencent’s “SPARK 2022” conference, Tencent Senior Vice President Steven Ma delivered his message to the online crowd through his high-fidelity digital double. It is built using homegrown next-gen technology from Tencent's NExT Studios. The technology breaks the limitations of time and space, allowing people to participate in events and even give a speech “in-person” by their digital doubles.

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Virtual and Real Fusion

The advanced technologies of virtual-real fusion promise a new frontier in digital experiences. We foresee more virtual humans showing up in the real world, appearing in different scenarios and providing us with a more enjoyable and convenient life.

On the other hand, it is now possible to immerse yourself into virtual events like concerts, carnivals and musicals. Virtual humans make the participants feel they are part of the story.

In December, Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME, NYSE: TME) organized Chinas first virtual music festival, TMELAND, where participants "shuttled" into TMELAND's time and space using their avatars. The festival was accessed via QQ Music, WeSing, and other Tencent Music apps.

Users participate in a music festival in the virtual world of TMELAND.

TMELAND is a huge virtual space of over 130,000 square meters, almost the size of 18 soccer fields, and can accommodate 100,000 virtual avatars interacting together.

Two months ago, popular rappers MC Jin and Jay Park landed at TMELAND to bring a music festival to their fans, performing their classic tracks. Participants customized their costumes in the virtual world before joining the events. 

Participants can customize their costumes at the virtual music festival.

These are just a few examples of the growing influence of lifelike virtual humans on our everyday lives. As the population continues to grow, your experience with the not-quite people is going to expand. Are you ready?