Fin Fin Page
Below are several articles a bout Fin Fin.
Business Week has an April 21, 1997 article titled, Cute and They Don't Leave A Puddle, about Fin Fin that includes a great Fin Fin photo.
FIN FIN ON TEO, THE MAGIC PLANET
The Product Fin Fin on Teo, the Magic Planet is the first in a series of "Experiential Multimedia" titles developed using Fujitsu's proprietary "Artificial Life" ("A-Life") technology. Because of this technology, the product's main character, Fin Fin -- an adorable dolphin-bird creature who inhabits the mystical planet, Teo -- is much more than a mere point-and-click cartoon figure. He has intelligence, emotions and personality, and although he lives and acts independently, he develops a relationship with those who care for him over time, thus becoming a child's computer friend.
How It Works Children communicate directly with Fin Fin through the SmartSensor device, a small sphere which sits on top of a PC monitor (it plugs into the game port) and captures audio and motion commands. A standard keyboard key
lets the user dispense Fin Fin's favorite food, the delicious Elmo fruit. The sensor device is the "eyes and ears" of Fin Fin, the conduit which allows him to get to know the child and to develop a relationship over time.
Product Highlights Beloved Character
Fin Fin is the primary character of the product, and he displays a wide range of emotions and behaviors which are reflective of the interaction he experiences with the user. For example, with consistent, loving attention, he becomes quite animated, entertaining children with acrobatic flying tricks, gentle, dolphin-like sounds and spontaneously erupting into one of more than 60 mystical, melodic songs. Conversely, if Fin Fin is neglected or subjected to a harsh tone of voice, taunting or sudden movements, he may squeal with fright and retreat to the secluded safety of his nest. Prolonged exposure to such behavior will cause him to become withdrawn and depressed and he may even cry tears of unhappiness.
Fin Fin on Teo, The Magic Planet can best be described as a combination of "A-Life" and Artificial Intelligence technologies carefully chosen and combined by Fujitsu developers to produce believable, autonomous creatures who develop relationships based in interaction with people over time -- not on demand.
Children and others who interact with Fin Fin will not get the hyper-stimulation of video games or the "eye candy" of screen savers, but will instead experience the joy and the positive challenge of developing interpersonal relationships through interacting with Fin Fin. Additionally, the lush vegetation and sweeping vistas of Planet Teo's rainforest-like terrain are meant to encourage concern and responsibility for the environment. Additional titles in the Teo series will support and enhance these themes, using progressively enhanced technology, graphics and introducing new characters and new behaviors, such as the ability of Fin Fin to mate and have a family.
Simple To Use, Suitable For Ages 6 And Up
Fin Fin on Teo, The Magic Planet, runs on Windows 95 operating system; requires a Pentium processor (75 MHz) or faster; 16 MB Ram; double-speed CD-ROM with gameport (see accompanying spec sheet for additional information). Fin Fin and his antics provide hours of fun and exploration for children ages 6 and up, as well as animal-lovers of all ages.
Fin Fin on Teo, The Magic Planet is expected to be available in Fall of 1996, at a suggested retail price of just under $40 for the CD-ROM title and under $50 for the SmartSensor.
May 30, 1996
Web posted at: 8:10 a.m. EDT
From Correspondent Dennis Michael
HOLLYWOOD, California (CNN) -- There are several computer programs that provide you with a digital pet on your computer. But one of the most advanced is a new artificial life program from Fujitsu called "Fin Fin."
The creature the program creates, somewhere between a canary and a miniature dolphin, is an artificial life form that lives on the virtual planet of "Teo."
With the "Fin Fin" software you get a special sensor that Fin Fin uses to get to know you. He's a skittish character, not like the over-friendly mutts you can adopt in a program with a similar theme, called "Dogz."
But with patience, you can win him over. "Gradually, the character will build up a relationship with you," says Artificial Life Engineer Joseph Bates. "If you're nice to it, so to speak, repeatedly, it will become more confident of you, less afraid of you, it'll come closer to the screen, and begin to engage you more directly and personally."
On the other hand, he said, if you are angry or aggressive, it will tend to stay back and hide behind the trees. "Sometimes it can be pretty stubborn."
"Fin Fin" is a very advanced form of artificial life for the home computer market, and the planet in which he exists, Teo, is also very fully realized. It has its own weather and passing seasons that can go a full year without repeating.
But the program calls for a lot of patience from the operator. Those with high scores playing "Doom," for example, will find this a very alien planet indeed. "Fin Fin on Teo, The Magic Planet (TM)" is scheduled to arrive in Japan this summer, and in the United States this fall.
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...Computer Friend Fin Fin, Takes Children on a Journey to Planet Teo
SAN JOSE, Calif., (May 7, 1996) --- Amid the deafening din of blood-and-guts video games and me-too multimedia titles which have come to characterize the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Japan's venerable computer company, Fujitsu, is poised to launch a quiet, yet revolutionary new form of computer entertainment based upon proprietary "Artificial Life" ("A-Life") technology.
Fin Fin on Teo, The Magic Planet will debut at E3, and will be the first of a series of next-generation multimedia titles that introduces the innovative new category of "Experiential Multimedia". The product will be a cornerstone of Fujitsu's expansion from its core computer hardware business into the white-hot realm of advanced technology's multimedia-related products and services. So committed to this new growth area is Fujitsu, that it has developed a new company -- Fujitsu Interactive, Inc. -- which is headquartered in California. The company will be generously-funded by the parent company, Fujitsu, Ltd., which has allocated nearly half of the company's $3.6 billion research-and-development budget to the growth and development of advanced new applications for a variety of areas in multimedia.
Bringing an Imaginary World to Life
Fin Fin on Teo, The Magic Planet is a technological breakthrough from Fujitsu's advanced computer research center. Although it will be available on a traditional CD-ROM and run on the Windows 95 operating system for the PC, that is where the similarity to the current generation of "interactive" titles ends. Using Fujitsu's advanced "A-Life" technology, and a specially designed SmartSensor device, children ages six and older, and animal-lovers of all ages, will be able to develop a relationship with Fin Fin, an adorable dolphin-bird creature who inhabits the beautiful and mystical planet Teo.
Because of the "A-Life" technology, Fin Fin is no mere point-and-click cartoon figure; rather, he has his own thoughts and feelings, and responds to others in his own unique way. Children communicate directly with Fin Fin through the SmartSensor device, a small sphere which sits on top of the computer monitor (it plugs into the game port) and captures audio and motion commands. The sensor device is the "eyes and ears" of Fin Fin, the conduit which allows him to get to know the child and to develop a relationship. Unlike other computer software which features tropical fish or dogs, Fin Fin is not a computer pet -- he is a unique creature which lives in a virtual world in the computer, has intelligence, emotions and personality, and although he lives and acts independently, develops a relationship with those who care for him over time.
For example, if Fin Fin receives consistent, loving attention he becomes quite animated, entertaining children with acrobatic flying tricks, gentle, dolphin-like sounds and spontaneously erupting into one of more than 60 of his melodic, mystical songs. Even when he is happy, Fin Fin often flies away to explore the lush, rain forest-like environment of Teo and to hunt for food. However, he may be called by using a special whistle, which will help entice him back into view. Intermittently, other beautiful creatures, such as butterflies and floating flowers, drift across the ever-changing landscape of Teo, which like our planet, Earth, is based upon a 365-day calendar year comprised of 24-hour days with seasons and changing weather patterns.
Conversely, if Fin Fin is neglected or subjected to a harsh tone of voice, taunting or sudden movements, he may squeal with fright and retreat to the secluded safety of his nest. Prolonged exposure to such adverse behavior will cause Fin Fin to become withdrawn and depressed, and he may cry tears of unhappiness.
Since Fin Fin remains fairly active throughout the day, he needs to set aside a block of time each day for rest. Usually, he goes to sleep two hours after sunset, and sleeps six to eight hours, just like a human. Then he is ready for a new day, and a new chance to deepen his relationship with those who care for him.
"A-Life" Technology, 3D Computer Graphics Form Fujitsu's "Experiential Multimedia"
"A-Life," the Fujitsu technology which is at the core of Fin Fin on Teo, The Magic Planet, is actually both an evolution of Artificial Intelligence and a natural extension of Fujitsu's long-term research into Man-Machine interfaces. Fujitsu has been concentrating its substantial R&D efforts on developing a new interface that will enable computer users to immediately interact with the computer, regardless of previous experience or knowledge.
Fujitsu intends to develop technology that will cause users to identify the computer "as a friend," rather than just as a tool. The company's "A-Life" research findings suggest that creating and implementing "an agent," such as the Fin Fin creature, will facilitate this easy interaction because the character reacts in real-time and behaves in such a lifelike, believable manner.
"A-Life" agent-creatures should emulate live Earth creatures; that is, they should recognize their environment, "think," react to external stimuli and express "emotions." The Fujitsu "A-Life" engine drives the creature's behavior, based on certain information translated from user sensory input such as sound volume, tone and movement. The "A-Life" engine itself is built on a foundation of high-performance Artificial Intelligence technology, which enables agent-creatures to appear to act on their own "thoughts" and "instincts."
"It is easy to program an A-Life creature that does exactly what the human says. It is also easy to create an A-Life creature that does exactly the opposite of what the human wants, " said Mr. Koichi Murakami, Chief Architect and Technical Director of Teo project in Japan. "Our challenge was to create an A-Life creature that had its own mind, that would do what it wanted, and interact with people only when it wanted to. We programmed 'independence.'
Also key to the compelling nature of Fin Fin on Teo, The Magic Planet is Fujitsu's proprietary graphics technology. The software is capable of displaying high-precision images at a rate of 10 frames per second -- a substantial improvement over the polygon display technology usually found in PC computer games. For example, Fin Fin alone will require 40,000 polygons and each screen will require more than 1 million polygons. Thus, Fujitsu is getting many inquiries on its advanced graphics technology.
The end result of Fujitsu's technological "wizardry" is that children to whom Fin Fin on Teo, The Magic Planet, is targeted will not get the hyper-stimulation of video games or the "eye-candy" of screen savers, but will instead experience the joy and difficulty of developing interpersonal relationships through interacting with Fin Fin. Additionally, the lush, vegetation and sweeping vistas of the Planet Teo are meant to encourage concern and responsibility for the environment. Additional titles in the Teo line will support and enhance those objectives, using progressively enhanced technology, graphics and introducing new characters and new behaviors -- such as the ability of Fin Fin to mate and have a family.
System Requirements/Product Availability
Fin Fin on Teo, The Magic Planet, runs on Windows 95 operating system; requires a Pentium processor (75MHz) or faster; 16 MB RAM; double-speed or faster CD-ROM with gameport. (For additional information, see accompanying specification sheet). Both CD-ROM title and the SmartSensor device are expected to be available in the United States in Fall of 1996, at a suggested retail price of just under $40 for the CD-ROM title and under $50 for the SmartSensor.
About Fujitsu Interactive, Inc.
Fujitsu Interactive's corporate mission is to be a world leader in publishing innovative current and next-generation computer-based multimedia software, with a focus on development in its pioneering new category, "Experiential Multimedia". Its long-term goal is to help redefine and transform the computer-user interface and the computing experience from interactive to experiential -- actually building a relationship with computer characters such as Fin Fin through "A-Life" technology.
Headquartered in California, Fujitsu Interactive, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujitsu, Ltd., Japan's largest computer company. They created a Japanese website called Teo World to support Fin Fin users, but the pet has been discontinued and the site is no longer active.
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