One major announcement at Apple’s annual September product event on Tuesday came in the form of a talking cartoon chimpanzee.
The company’s FaceID technology, available only on the iPhone X uses what Apple calls a TrueDepth camera, which lets anybody with the phone unlock their phone just by looking at it, the company claims. It also has a more whimsical application: animated emojis, which is how anybody who ponies up at least $999 to buy an iPhone X will communicate. A new sort of status symbol could end up being Apple’s animoji, a talking pile of poo that uses your voice.
“Animojis breathe our own personality into our favorite [emojis],” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, after demoing the tech onstage Tuesday.
Apple uses AR Kit — an augmented reality system that will be included with iOS 11when it comes out on September 19 — to make animojis. A portmanteau of “animation” and “emoji,” the arguably creepy and totally Black Mirror-esque new feature will allow iOS 11 users to send custom talking emojis based off their own facial expressions
“The TrueDepth camera also enables new experiences, like bringing emojis to life, by mapping more than 50 facial muscles in real time, so you can be happy, or sad, or cross,” explained Apple’s chief designer Jony Ive in a commercial that aired during the event.
Described as “custom animated messages that use your voice and reflect your facial expressions,” the animoji will be generated using the iPhone X’s new Face ID capability. It doesn’t look like Animoji will be available if you merely order the iPhone 8, as it doesn’t have a TrueDepth camera or FaceID technology.
Animoji will be able to be sent directly within the iPhone’s Messages app, and will be received as looping videos.