Alltel Wireless now has a 3-D avatar feature for multimedia messaging on cell phones and will extend the same technology to mobile alerts, the carrier said this week.
For $0.99 per use, customers can upload a picture or choose from a catalog of cartoon-like images, which can then be customized and animated in 3-D images sent through messages and mobile greeting cards, explained Doug Maglothin, product manager for messaging services.
The service, called Alltel Avatars, uses technology from Vidiator. Messages can go to any phones that can play standard 3GPP video files, but must originate from an Alltel device.
A similar feature scheduled for Sept. 22 will add avatars for alerts such as weather and horoscopes.
Connie Wong, CEO of Vidiator, said her company is integrating the avatar technology into music videos. For example, an avatar can be made to dance. Customers will also be able to customize an avatar’s appearance or even upload their own music if Vidiator succeeds in its negotiations with record labels, she said.
The music features could launch by the end of this year, while other pricing models and third-party integration options are being considered for future versions, she added.