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Personify Live: Green Screen Effects For Your Desktop Video Meetings
November 13, 2012 | David S. Maldow, Esq.
In our ever continuing quest to highlight innovative new uses for video technology, we have stumbled upon the Personify Live solution. We recently covered SightDeck, which turns your meeting room into a stealth broadcast studio, with full green screen capabilities, without the green screen. Personify Live produces a similar effect, but optimized for the desktop video environment.
Personify uses a "Depth Camera" (Microsoft Kinect or Asus Xtion Pro Live) to extract the presenter from his surroundings and place her within the presentation, as shown in the video above. Whether you are recording a presentation for later viewing, or hosting a live meeting, you can use Personify Live to impose your live image on your shared data. In effect, it appears as if you are standing in front of a wall sized version of your PowerPoint presentation (or whatever you choose to share), which is actually a common / natural dynamic for live, in-person, presentations. It appears to work independently / agnostically with whichever video recording or videoconferencing software is in use, which is certainly appreciated.
As a nice touch, Personify offers a phone app to control the presentation. This allows you to avoid awkwardly reaching over towards the laptop to click on the next slide. A minor benefit, but it shows that the Personify team has a good focus on the final user experience. The service is priced reasonably, at $19.99 a month, or $199 a year. If you get the Asus camera through them ($199), they throw in the first three months of the service in for free.
It will be interesting to see where this solution goes from here. I don't think the average video user is sophisticated enough (yet) for this to achieve viral mass adoption. But that doesn't mean it isn't viable and won't be profitable. Also, there is always the possibility that this technology be attractive to an established video industry player, and get incorporated into a popular solution. As for now, if you present over videoconferencing often, Personify Life could be an affordable way to increase your impact and set yourself apart.
About the Author
David Maldow, Esq. is a visual collaboration technologist and analyst with the Human Productivity Lab and an associate editor at Telepresence Options. David has extensive expertise in testing, evaluating, and explaining telepresence and other visual collaboration / rich media solutions. David is focused on providing third-party independent analysis and opinion of these technologies and helping end users better secure their telepresence, videoconferencing, and visual collaboration environments. You can follow David on Twitter and Google+.
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