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An Interview With Verónica Orvalho, Founder & CEO Of Didimo

Didimo Inc is the leading creator of high-fidelity digital human avatars. With a patented, cloud-based technology platform, Didimo can generate high-fidelity, fully animatable, and customizable digital humans for use in any digital touchpoint or experience. Generation can happen from a photo, video, or scan and is completed in around 60 seconds, opening this breakthrough pipeline to provide an individual’s digital twin–a didimo–at scale and at run time, to solve real-world business needs for all types of companies. Didimo’s mission is to bring the richness of human engagement to every digital interaction. Didimo has offices in Porto and London.

The interview was conducted over emails with team BitcoinWorld and this is what the founder has to say about Didimo.

 

A brief introduction about Didimo

Didimo creates life-like 3D personalized digital human avatars in about 60 seconds, from a selfie. Didimo’s platform is an automated, customizable and scalable B2B solution, empowering companies with a powerful yet affordable way to engage their customers in personalized, immersive 3D experiences.

As computing moves to a more 3D and immersive approach, everyone wants to engage more fully as themselves – from trying on fashion to playing in a game with friends to meeting with colleagues in the metaverse. To help everyone participate, Didimo has created a powerful and scalable platform that allows anyone to make a digital twin of themselves – a didimo – easily and quickly.

 

How does the platform enable the rapid, mass production of digital avatars, and how does it streamline the construction of 3D avatars into a single step?

Until now, the creation of high-quality 3D characters was extremely expensive, time-consuming, and limited. This process typically takes many days and requires technical artists, engineers and expensive software.

Didimo’s powerful platform (with 3 patents!) generates lifelike characters with ease and scale. From a selfie, photo, or scan, the Didimo Generation Pipeline can “read” 2D data and via a robust AI and Machine Learning algorithm, translate this information into a 3D full-body avatar that accurately represents the user. All steps, including modeling, texturing, rigging, animation and shading happen in a single-step process in the cloud. Didimo characters are designed to work with standard industry tools like ARKit, Oculus lipsync, Mixamo, and more and come with support via a Unity SDK, Unreal SDK, WebGL tools and much more. Didimo characters are fully animatable and believable, empowering rich immersive experiences for gaming, retail, fashion, and metaverse engagement.

Because the process only needs a photo and is cloud-based, now anyone can create their own digital twin easily and engage with richer digital experiences quickly.

 

Do you think blockchain will allow Didimo to provide clients with seamless services that will merge their 2D and 3D digital presences, transforming how customers engage with each other and trade cryptocurrencies or other rare digital assets? (NFTs)?

Yes, blockchain technologies are an important part of our Web3 digital future. First, regarding NFTs and digital ownership, this is a critical need for users. Many people are creating assets and deserve ownership and verification of those assets. In our case, we want people to be able to create garments and accessories for their didimo twins because those are an important part of how we present our identity in the real world. Glasses, shoes, wardrobes, tattoos, and more really present ourselves in the way we want others to understand us, so the ability to leverage NFTs for these assets is important and fairly supports a creator economy for these assets.  Second, verification and securitization are critical. As we extend our identity into digital spaces via lifelike digital twins, we will want to be able to protect and verify our identities so that others trust and engage freely with us and we know that our digital twins only act on our behalf. From admission to events to verification of attending classes to even potential legal exchanges, blockchain verification opens a range of opportunities of what we can do with digital humans. By integrating existing digital behavior and knowledge from current web experiences like social media and personal profiles, our digital humans will more effectively act and respond on our behalf in the future. It really is a rich and exciting world that is unfolding.

Blockchain technologies will enable all of this and build trust, which companies and brands desire in order to expand capabilities and experiences in a Web3 world.

 

Can virtual commodities, or works of art be converted into secure NFTs and kept as assets on Didimo? And if that’s the case, can consumers choose to instantly convert their NFTs into fiat currency or exchange them for cryptocurrency to acquire more Didimo entities?

Yes, we have built didimos to be flexible to work with standard industry tools. For assets like glasses or clothing, we have developed an asset fitter that can help creators or teams adapt asset libraries to fit our characters. So any assets like this can be created as an NFT and added to a Didimo character. Additionally, it is possible to NFT your didimo. It is also possible to use NFT as a ticketing option to allow specific didimos to enter experiences like immersive concerts. We see the didimo as you in any digital experience; NFTs and blockchain technology will allow you to behave and transact as you do in the offline world.

 

What are your current objectives and past successes in terms of improving the Didimo experience?

We are always focused on what we call “likeness”. How do we continually evolve our technology and other technologies to ensure you get the most lifelike representation. That has two components: does your digital twin look like you? and does your digital twin act like you? On first, we are always evolving our engine to deliver continual improvements in look. And we are constantly improving animation capabilities and using the best external animation tools so that didimos can show real emotions and reactions that are signature to the user. Both of these are never-ending work for us as we will always be making them better and better to lead the industry forward.

We also have a strong roadmap of new features and capabilities. Some that we can start to talk about include fully customizable bodies as well as new beautification capabilities. With these, we can offer next-level virtual fashion try-on experiences as well as allow didimos to be tailored to specific use moments. For example, you look a bit different when you attend a business meeting than when you go to a concert or meet friends for a weekend brunch. So while your didimo needs to look like you, you also need the flexibility to show easily different presentations of yourself. Now that’s possible. 

We have many other big features coming in early 2023, so it really is worth watching to see and try these new capabilities first.

 

How can you improve the humanity of digital interactions?

As mentioned, our technology allows two unique things. First, it is important to us that anyone can participate. Our platform just needs a photo; we do not need the user to input demographic information or make choices and our AI has been trained on a broad range of types of humans. So anyone can have a didimo that looks like them.  The second important thing is the likeness aspect. Because your digital twin truly looks like you and represents you, this enhances trust and integrity in digital spaces. People behave better when they are know and trusted. So improving humanity in digital interactions is exactly part of this….we are empowering everyone to join and to do so in a transparent, trustable manner.

Beyond this, we love that our digital twins will allow us to do and experience so many things. It is now possible to live in Sao Paolo and attend classes in Hong Kong. Or to meet your friends and play together in your favorite game. You can also try on new fashions and have your friends give you advice on whether they like it for you or not. There will be a lot of new experiences open to everyone, the key is that the person is at the center of the experience and we are helping to put them there.

 

Closing Remarks

Didimo was started because we saw an incredible opportunity to help people communicate more effectively. Within my research lab at the University of Porto, we were using digital characters to help children who have autism to learn to better communicate with their families. The tools proved so useful that the families asked if they could continue to use them. 

When we really thought about it, that’s when realized that everyone is constrained in some way with their communication, particularly in digital communication. We have all misinterpreted a text or felt confused about whether an avatar really represents us or can help us make better choices like fashion or learning to play an instrument. So we know that by creating true digital twins, we could empower people to do more of what they love and better connect in digital spaces. While we can do a lot now, we are only at the start. There is a very exciting future ahead for us in this space.

 

Website: www.didimo.co 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/didimo/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/didimo_co

 

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