Appears with kitty filter before virtual cut in Zoom 1: 35
(CNN Business) –– Something was wrong: it looked like a cat! That was quickly realized by attorney Rod Ponton when he appeared at a virtual court hearing on Zoom this Mars . Although real life is a human being, the other participants in the video call – including Judge Roy B. Ferguson of the 394th Judicial District Court in Texas – saw him as a cat. Specifically, a white cat with gray spots and large, desperate eyes that moved across the screen.
"I am not a cat": lawyer stars in a viral moment when he appears with a Zoom filter in a virtual
audience "Mr. Ponton, I think that you have a filter activated in the video settings, "explained Judge Ferguson.
The kitten, looking tearful, opened his mouth but said nothing, as his eyes went back and forth from the screen.
" Can you hear me, Judge ? "Asked Ponton, looking like a helpless feline.
" I'm here, live, I'm not a cat, "he said a few seconds later.
The exchange, which lasted less than a minute until the switch was deactivated. Cat filter and Ponton regained his human appearance, spread online this Tuesday, after it was posted on the court YouTube channel . Beyond the fits of laughter it invariably elicited from viewers, the incident raised some questions that even Ponton was unable to answer. How it happened? And where can other people get that adorable Zoom cat filter?
CNN Business reached out to Ponton on Wednesday, who said he no longer looks like a cat. The attorney was able to provide some additional details about what happened. As he explained, he had no idea how the cat filter ended up activated. He also recounted that while he waited for the meeting to start, his face looked normal, as he could see on his computer monitor.
"Somehow, when they called me from the court, I miraculously transformed into a cat," he said.
This lasted for about 42 seconds until it somehow shut off. That time, he said, "seemed like an eternity."
As for the cat filter in Zoom, it's not one that's built into the platform. You also can't find it by looking for Snap Camera, a commonly used Zoom app that can add filters (Snap calls them "lenses") around or on top of your face during a video call.
Turns out this is a much older technology: some inquiries on the internet led to several suggestions that the filter Ponton accidentally used appears to be from a tool known as Live! Cam Avatar. A feature that was used with old Dell camera software called Dell Webcam Manager. A Twitter user even posted that a similar catastrophe befell them during a job interview on Skype years ago.
You can see a picture of the cat in this 2007 Dell Product Guide for a Computer Monitor with a Webcam integrated, which is hosted on the Dell site. «With Live! Cam Avatar, the user can disguise himself as a movie star, a furry friend or any personalized animated character during the video call ”, promotes the guide. It also indicates that it uses "intelligent face tracking" to replicate the user's head movements. "And instantly lip syncs for everything that is said instantly," adds the guide. A YouTube video of 201 0 gives a good idea of how it works in non-virtual courtroom environments
It makes sense that this is the source of the cat filter that played Ponton a nasty trick. As he recalls, the equipment he used during the Zoom call is about 10 years old. Ponton said he logged into the meeting from his secretary's old Dell desktop in an office in Presidio, Texas – rather than his main office in Marfa – next to a Dell monitor that has a camera. built-in web. (His laptop, he said, was being used elsewhere at the time, for another meeting.)
Moments That Made Us Laugh and Cry at Zoom During 2020
His secretary, Ponton added, is embarrassed by the whole filtering situation. cat. "She wants to hide under the bed," said the lawyer with a smile, referring to a usual behavior of a cat.
Now Dell webcam software is hard to find these days. But CNN Business got to see it in action. It happened during a Zoom call with Thomas Smith, CEO of artificial intelligence photography company Gado Images, a tech journalist and briefly, in this case, a cat. When Smith learned that Zoom's cat filter appeared to be from Dell's old webcam software, he searched a device bin at his home in Lafayette, California. He found a Dell laptop from around 2009. He plugged it in and started it up with the Windows 7 operating system. Then he found complete the Dell webcam software he was looking for, including "the sad kitty" as he called it. .
Thomas Smith shows the cat filter during an interview with CNN Business.
Smith wrote about the filter for the Debugger technology website and noted that curious filter fans can find the software online and download it on their PCs (sorry, Mac users). But the software doesn't seem to allow you to use an avatar like the kitten to broadcast live via webcam the way Ponton accidentally did, Smith explained. Instead, you can record your own video with the kitty filter or use the filter in a video call by sharing your screen with other viewers. (What he did during our call)
As for Ponton, he hasn't been able to find the cat filter on the computer since then. You tried looking for the webcam software on the old Dell computer during an interview with CNN Business, but the machine had not finished its search when the interview was conducted. If he finds it, he said, he plans to use it again.
Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7116