Robotic Avatar Helps You Recalculate Your Drainage Fee

Whatever your ethnicity, it’s probably not too far off from that of Julie, the Sitepal avatar some fun folks at Rebuild Houston have been using to narrate a series of videos demonstrating how to look up and recalculate the new drainage fee on your property using the city’s Drainage Utility Charge Viewer. Julie’s kinda like you — only maybe she moves and talks a little more stiltingly, and she probably wears more makeup. She’s probably also a little less concerned about the resulting monthly costs, or the imperviousness of the whole thing. Still, Julie’s a trooper: She appears to be standing in the middle of Buffalo Bayou, getting her own feet wet as she processes the script into remarkably natural-sounding speech, blinks occasionally, and convincingly wiggles her lips to the words.


Julie — minus that custom Downtown background — is easily available to narrate your own videos and web content too, smiling all the while. Sitepal provides hundreds of other 3D Photofaces ready to say whatever you want them to say, for a small monthly fee. And yes, custom 3D Photofaces just like her can be created from any photo you upload.

Video: Rebuild Houston

3 Comment

  • I asked for verification of my total impervious surface area because I have a professional survey showing the exact square footage and the City of Houston was off by over 300 square feet. When they did the verification they adjusted down but didn’t come to the same numbers the professional survey found??? I asked for a protest hearing and they’ve already canceled my hearing. I voted for this bill and am sorry I did… what a crock.

  • Wow. The perfectly race-neutral cybercyborg to make you feel good about your much higher bill each month. This could become a trend. Next thing you know, they’ll have similar political candidates, even presidents, who make pain feel good, and right. Oh. Wait.

  • How does one go about contesting the drainage fee? The form stated that gravel driveways and decks are considered impervious….I guess they don’t see the ivy and grass that are happily invading at my place….Also, the photo on line had a big shadow on my house.