Virtual Host

Oddcast Media Technologies, 2001

The Virtual Host (now [V]Host) is an internet application for presenting animated characters in a web page. The Virtual Host Editor (now [V]Host Studio) is an online application for creating Virtual Host content, customizing the Host's appearance, and administering a Virtual Host web site. I was lead developer, interface designer, and animator. I also did key research and development into speech synthesis and lip-sync software and developed prototypes in Flash, JavaScript, and C/C++, which were subsequently incorporated in the product.

Oddcast's [V]Host puts a human face on the Internet. Winner of FlashForward 2002's "Best Application" honors, the Oddcast [V]Host is an embodied, conversational character that responds to users from web pages, e-mails and ad banners or any digital platform. Created and updated via a web-based tool set, the Oddcast [V]Host is built in Flash, and can be viewed by 97% of the Internet population � regardless of connection speed. Instantly, a living, breathing character delivers your message in your voice, complete with lifelike lip-syncing and interactivity that can respond to any user input.

The [V]Host Studio is an easy-to-use authoring tool that allows users to create and embed customized animated characters within html pages, ad banners, emails and Flash movies. Any non-technical user can create and update characters, backgrounds and audio messages effortlessly, without touching the underlying code. Basic html and Java programmers can utilize the [V]Host Studio's APIs to create advanced interactions with users based on their rollovers, clicks, and browser cookies.

A screen shot from the Character Editor of the Virtual Host Editor.

Dress 'Em Up Dubya, a humorous one-off application based on the Virtual Host technology. It won numerous awards when it debuted in the summer of 2001.