Dr Smile

The Philip K. Dick novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch features a portable device which allows patients to consult with the virtual psychiatrist Dr Smile. If I’m not mistaken, the system seems to have re-invented by this research team:

Virtual patient: a photo-real virtual human for VR-based therapy

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2004;98:154-6.

Kiss B, Benedek B, Szijártó G, Csukly G, Simon L, Takács B.

A high fidelity Virtual Human Interface (VHI) system was developed using low-cost and portable computers. The system features real-time photo-realistic digital replicas of multiple individuals capable of talking, acting and showing emotions and over 60 different facial expressions. These virtual patients appear in a high-performance virtual reality environment featuring full panoramic backgrounds, animated 3D objects, behavior and AI models, a complete vision system for supporting interaction and advanced animation interfaces. The VHI takes advantage of the latest advances in computer graphics. As such, it allows medical researchers and practitioners to create real-time responsive virtual humans for their experiments using computer systems priced under $2000.

Link to PubMed entry for Dr Smile re-invention.

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