I am a grown man — I shouldn’t be fascinated by seeing a Little animal copying my expressions or singing in my voice. I should be ashamed to admit it — I spent the majority of the weekend exploring what was possible between me and my new animated animal friends — but i’m not.
Much of the technological development that has occurred to now has centred around text communication. That is true whether you look at Facebook, Text message or Websites. For the first time, when I was interacting with this character I felt like I could decipher feeling. I could read emotion and connect with a digital emoji on a level that I haven’t with friends and family previously online. Honestly, in many way, it feels like this is what I’ve been waiting for.
Perhaps the most significant development of web 3.0 won’t be the decentralisation of everything, it will be the interpretation of human emotion within non-human projections.
What they are is a gateway to another universe. They are the first sincere representation of an avatar representing us online — capturing who we are in an incredibly authetic way.
Think about it — for the first time a digital character can capture and replicate your emotions, expressions and project your voice simultaneously while using nothing but a camera.
The potential for this to occur without any intervention, permission of effort on your part is huge. The iPhoneX might not be the product of inconceivable innovation we all hoped, but it is the product a smartphone should be. FaceID returns a phone to what it used to be. You pick it up and use it. No need to fumble about for a passcode, no need to awkwardly reposition your thumb because you have crumbs on it from eating.
Extrapolate them further and the first pillar for the disruption of the entire movie and animation industry has emerged. Envision the possibilities for creativity.
Imagine what Ed Catmull could have achieved growing up if he had this product available at his finger tips. For individuals to recreate or re-imagine existing films and television series all Disney has to do is open source their library of characters. Having done so they can sit back and watch the creativity that flows. They will have access to a million story lines, understanding what resonates with the audiences and what people want to be made.
The first step of any major revolution or innovation is mimicry of what already exists. What will begin as fan fictions based on existing characters will evolve to give birth to new characters and stories. What Animoji’s achieve is a democratisation of a product that was only available to a select few at huge expense.
A computer generated Avatar has over 450,000 followers on instagram. The seeds of change have already been planted. The facial capture technology that propels Animoji will change everything.
This isn’t just a seminal moment for animation — it is a watershed moment for self-expression and creativity. For generations avatars have been envisioned as an opportunity to be who we want to be online. The iPhoneX’s tecnology enables this revolution.
That initial feeling of empathy I had with a character filled me with hope. This was in expectation that technology can foster human connection, having done everything to isolate us in order to increase our attention and send us more ads.
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