Prototypes

Sergeant Star

2007-2009
Project Leader: Diane Piepol

The Sergeant Star Immersive Demonstration presents a new class of virtual human guide, using ICT’s interactive character technologies, such as natural language understanding and realistic conversational gestures.

The Sergeant Star persona began as a non-animated web chat personality on the GoArmy.com website. There he responds verbally and in writing to visitor-typed questions using artificial intelligence software that was developed by Next IT of Spokane, WA. ICT researchers were asked by the United States Army Accessions Command to bring Sergeant Star to life, and have since elevated him to a new level of realism.

Projected onto a semi-transparent screen, he now appears life size, and using Hollywood storytelling techniques with cutting-edge computer graphics his personality matches his good looks. His chest moves with each breath, his eyebrows arch to certain questions. He speaks, he shrugs, he laughs and he informs.

Sergeant Star answers questions on topics including Army careers, training, education and money for college. He can also handle queries about the technology behind his development and explain how his creation fits in with plans for future Army training environments.

Facts and Figures
The Sergeant Star Immersive Demonstration debuted at the Association of the United States Army Conference in Washington, DC October 8-10, 2007. Later that month he appeared at the Future Farmers of America convention in Indianapolis and he is scheduled to appear at the All-American Bowl (Fan Fiesta) in San Antonio in early January 2008. From October 2007 to January 2009, SGT Star is estimated to have been seen by 75,000 audience members, and remained active in the Army’s Interactive Adventure Vans for some time thereafter.

Future
SGT Star continued to pave the way for other ICT full-scale interactive characters, such as the InterFaces twins at The Museum of Science Boston and the FITE-JCTD CHAOS Marine training system at Camp Pendelton.

External Collaborators
Voice talent: Holt Boggs