Sneak preview of our new full body characters...

Gil 10 years ago updated by Gil Sideman 9 years ago 16
Our full body characters -

* work on any browser, including mobile browsers.
* fully support the SitePal API, including on mobile.
* their body gestures are generated automatically to match the audio

Click on the talk button to speak one of 3 sample audios (click again to hear all three) -

here are a few more details -
* this demo is running off our development platform and is not yet fully optimized.
* has been tested on iOS and Android - iPhone 3 won't work, 4 is iffy, and older Android versions may be a problem - we are still determining where to draw the line.
* have not paid attention to Windows phone just yet (no offence anyone)
* yes we will have different guys and gals to choose from.
* schedule - can't commit to a date yet, but we are getting close.
Are all the characters supported on the new OS/devices going to be full body? Will the current characters be migrated to work on the newer OS/devices as well?
The current characters already work on mobile (no Flash) devices by displaying a video. In the future this implementation will be upgraded/improved to an HTML5 version.
From a timeline perspective - the full body characters will arrive first, and the currently existing characters will be converted to HTML5 later on.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the update Gil. It is already looking good. Any clue as to timescales (besides order)? Are we talking summer / fall 2014 or later?

We integrated the Flash version but have been pulling it out as we see Flash support issues with our clients. If the timelines fit, we will continue to push the Avatar as our preferred support tool for end-users.
The full body characters are imminent (next few weeks). There is no question they will be out this summer. As for the currently existing characters - it is too early to say.

For the time being - you might want to adopt the full body characters & replace the "classic" characters (as we have come to refer to them) on your pages.

Hope this helps,
Hi Gil

I have just discovered site pal and have joined up as a gold member. I am keen to move to platinum but I have some doubts about the performance on iPads. I am based in Australia and very keen to integrate a solid avatar suite on a number of our websites. Due to the time difference it makes customer support very difficult. Do you only operate in NY working hours ? I have sent a few emails to Sales with no response. It makes it difficult to commit to a partner when the service is better with local options. Maybe I am doing something wrong. We launch a new site in 4 weeks and would prefer some close help with our project. What can offer please ? If we can make this a success i am sure site pal will improve your brand down under.

Patrick O'CONNOR Patrick.oconnor@parkhill.com.au
Gill - just going back to your point regarding the full body characters. From a UX design perspective we will need to stick with the head and shoulders. For bandwidth and platform support reasons, we have had to provide a switchable option to dialog / bubble help for our product. This means when we cannot serve the Avatar, or, when the user doesnt want the avatar, they get a dialog similar to SMS texts.
Patrick -
I am sorry (and surprised) sales were unresponsive. Sometimes emails go to spam...
But there are other avenues - support@sitepal.com should be the main contact venue for tech support & can refer business questions to the right person as needed.
And there is this forum as well...

Yes being down under makes it kind of tricky for a phone conversation - but not impossible. But email is the main support tool & should allow us to provide you with the support you need.

Bottom line - how can we help?
(I responded separately to your email so we can take this conversation offline)
Doug -
Understood. We'll work out the 'head and shoulders' appearance for you. As the example demonstrates the new characters are designed to be 'full body' - but it should not be a problem to embed them from the chest up.
We are presenting at a conference mid June, and would really like to show off the latest Avatar running outside of flash. The attendee's will be using iPad's and right now we show a blank on that platform. Any likelihood we could do something here?
We should be ready with a beta for select customers shortly.
Perhaps we could jump the gun and have you setup by end of next week.
Please send a note to support@sitepal.com - they will connect us so we can pick this up via direct communication.
Great stuff Gil. For our purpose, we need the full interactivity on all popular platforms (video solution is not an option).

#1- Will the upcoming HTML5 version support custom 3D characters out of the box? (How hard is it to build a custom head+shoulder character?)

#2- Will the solution (flash+HTML5) support transparent background? (seeing the web page behind) -- (I assume yes).

#3- We have other multimedia elements on our website and I am trying to see how it will "blend" with your stuff. What "HTML5" technologies are you targeting? (WebGL? pure Canvas? WebAudio API? audio element?)

#0 - full interactivity on all popular platforms
Yes, that's what the new characters offer.

#1- Will the upcoming HTML5 version support custom 3D characters out of the box?
Afraid not - that's not going to be initially available

#2- Will the solution (flash+HTML5) support transparent background?
Yes (you can see that in the example)

#3 - Canvas and Audio element

Hope this helps,
Thanks for the prompt and precise replies. Yes your answers helps.

I disabled the flash player in Google Chrome on Windows 8 and it gave me a message to "get Adobe Flash Player" (instead of switching to the HTML5 version).

Is this behavior expected in a final release?

Bernard -
No - it will not behave this way in the final release.

If Flash is not present it will use the HTML5 playback (for browsers that are HTML5 capable) - regardless of the platform.
Thanks for pointing this out.
Under review
Folks - 
As you may have noticed/heard, and to bring this thread full circle, the new Full Body characters have launched several weeks ago.
The new characters are available to all SitePal customers, for all package levels. To try out the new characters, login to your account, and click on "Add Scene" - then select the Full Body scene type. Edit and publish your scene as you would any other scene (the editing options are different of course).

The new Full Body characters are mobile compatible, and they fully support the SitePal client API, with two exceptions - 
1. setVolume does not work
2. playing an audio automatically when the page loads does not work - the character will appear, but the user must click on the play button or on some button that you create (and call the API).
Both issues are due to mobile browser limitations.

If you notice any problems or have comments - please let me know by posting here or write to support@sitepal.com