New Zealand Tech Company Is Using Unreal Engine To Create Digital Sign Language Interpreters

Unreal Engine is used in a lot of games these days, from the upcoming Biomutant to the flight combat game Project Wingman. It’s a robust, easy-to-use engine that cuts down on the time it takes to develop games by many factors.

And it’s about to get a massive upgrade when it comes to animating people. Unreal’s new MetaHuman Creator is a new cloud-based streaming app that let developers make believable human characters in “less than an hour.” It’s like a character creator in a game, only it’s for ANY game that you plan to make in Unreal. Once that character is done being made, it comes fully rigged and ready to be animated in Unreal Engine.

And these avatars look so good that frankly, it’s a little creepy. Epic released two sample characters that were created in MetaHuman Creator, and both of them are so realistic that it’s hard to tell that they’re not even real people.

On the plus side, an easy-to-animate character creator means that Kara Technologies can now create custom sign language interpreters in no time. Kara is the New Zealand-based company that developed Niki, a virtual avatar that can interpret “a variety of media content such as video, audio, or text into a signed language.”

Niki isn’t just some avatar moving her hands, though. Niki’s facial expressions also come fully animated–an important facet in communicating with the hearing impaired.

However, it looks like Niki might be retired. Kara released an updated version of their sign language interpreter using one of the MetaHuman models that Epic released with MetaHuman Creator, and she was able to replace Niki in less than a week. This means that Kara can use MetaHuman to create custom avatars for anyone that needs a digital sign language interpreter.

The next time you see a sign language interpreter at the bottom of your screen, look carefully. You might be looking at one of Kara’s MetaHuman creations.

Next: STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl Unofficial Remake Uses Unreal Engine, Shows Off New Visuals

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Actually a collective of 6 hamsters piloting a human-shaped robot, Sean hails from Toronto, Canada. Passionate about gaming from a young age, those hamsters would probably have taken over the world by now if they didn’t vastly prefer playing and writing about video games instead.

The hamsters are so far into their long-con that they’ve managed to acquire a bachelor’s degree from the University of Waterloo and used that to convince the fine editors at TheGamer that they can write “gud werds,” when in reality they just have a very sophisticated spellchecker program installed in the robot’s central processing unit.

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