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IMAGE-BASED INSTANT MESSAGING SYSTEM FOR PROVIDING EXPRESSIONS OF EMOTIONS

Emotions can be expressed in the user interface for an instant messaging system based on the content of a received text message. The received text message is analyzed using a text-to-speech engine to generate phoneme data and wave data based on the text content. Emotion tags embedded in the message by the sender are also detected. Each emotion tag indicates the sender's intent to change the emotion being conveyed in the message. A mapping table is used to map phoneme data to viseme data. The number of face/lip frames required to represent viseme data is determined based on at least the length of the associated wave data. The required number of face/lip frames is retrieved from a stored set of such frames and used in generating an animation. The retrieved face/lip frames and associated wave data are presented in the user interface as synchronized audio/video data.

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2008/0163074.html
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