www.hy8.com Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Q: What's this website for?
A: For fun :-). We provide greeting messages with facial animation movies. You can enjoy them yourself and email them to your friends as greeting cards. We plan to add jokes, stories and real-time reports of news and stock prices etc.
Q: How do I enjoy your movies?
A: (1) You need a mobile (cell) phone capable of playing 3GP movies (all 3G and most new 2G phones are capable) or a PC, which has Internet connection.
(2) Register on our website (www.hy8.com).
(3) Activate your account after you receive a confirmation message from us through e-mail.
(4) Login (type Username, Password and click on "Submit").
(5) Choose the greeting category, message, language, PC/mobile, and a character (actor/actress), and then click on "Submit".
Q: Why can't my mobile phone/computer play the movies?
A: On a mobile phone, you need a player for 3GP movies. All 3G handsets and most new 2G handsets should have such movie player. On PC, you need a player for MPEG4 movies. MS Media Player on Windows 2000 and XP can play MPEG4 movies automatically. On an older version of Windows, you may need to install a new version of Media Player.
Q: What's your unique technology?
A: We have worked on human face image analysis, recognition and animation for many years. Our system can create many virtual characters with different styles. It can match voice signals with lip/mouth shapes smoothly and automatically. The lip-sync can be done in real time (e.g. 20 frames per second) for several languages, including Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. In addition, a virtual character can express his/her emotion with different kinds of facial expressions.
Q: What are the applications of your technology?
A: Too many to list here :-) We're working with telecom and Internet companies to build real-time facial animation engines for 3G mobile services, and to provide MMS to millions of mobile phone users in over 20 provinces in mainland China. Our system can also be used for e-learning, product promotion, real-time news report, on-line chat, toys and games etc.
Q: Can the real-time lip-sync and facial animation functions be built into a mobile phone handset?
A: We believe it can be done, especially with smart phone operating systems. Please contact us (tec@hy8.com) if any mobile handset manufacturer has such a need.
Q: Can I contribute to your web site as a voice actor, or provide you with interesting stories or jokes?
A: Yes, you are certainly welcome to do so. Please contact us (act@hy8.com).
Q: Can you animate my face, my puppy's face or my friend's face?
A: Yes. Please contact us (act@hy8.com).
Q: Are the movies free?
A: All material on this website is copyrighted by the Department of Computer Engineering and Information Technology at City University of Hong Kong. The movies are currently free for non-commercial use. For commercial use, you need to contact us (tec@hy8.com) and get a written permission from us.
Q: Can I ask a question not listed here?
A: Yes. Please contact us (enq@hy8.com).