Disney plays race card with new avatar site

Avatar technology can be interesting. Simpsonize Me was a neat trick Crispin Porter + Bogusky did for Burger King a couple of years back. Now, Disney is pushing the virtual-transformation envelope in a new site for the movie Surrogates, slated for release in September. The site uses technology by Oddcast, the company behind CareerBuilder's Monk-e-mail, to let users virtually change their race. (You can also alter your mood and age.) The app has some interesting quadrants. After you upload a photo and go through some fiddling to line it up right, you can test out a different racial makeup. African American on top, Caucasian on the bottom, Asian to the left, Indian to the right. That's the black version of me pictured here. The idea is that, as in the Bruce Willis movie, your surrogate can take your place online.

—Posted by Brian Morrissey