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Animoji and Memoji: Everything you need to know about Apple’s AR emojis

The promise of the new iPhone XS and Apple Watch Series 4 aren’t all that we’re excited about at Apple’s September 12 ‘Gather Round’ special event. With the consumer-ready release of iOS 12, we’ll all finally be able to create ‘Memojis’ of our own.

In case you missed the hype, Animojis are the company’s fully 3D rigged character heads modelled on popular emoji icons that can mimic your facial expressions based on data pulled directly from the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera array.

Whilst the popularity of its use within Apple’s native Messages app remains questionable, the feature did give rise to the Animoji Karaoke trend that had foxes, monkeys, aliens and even unicorns miming along to popular tunes on social media (before copyright strikes pulled many of them down again).

At the start of 2018 Apple even built on the trend itself, releasing a series of truncated music videos using the same technique. Then, with the unveiling of iOS 12 at WWDC 18, the company revealed that it would be introducing new characters to the Animoji roster and launch a new variation on the technology called ‘Memojis’.

Memojis use the same clever face-tracking tech as Animojis but this time turn you into the subject, taking the shape of a highly-customisable avatar modelled on your likeness. They can exist against a white void, just as Animojis first did, or sit as an overlay on your face in real-time when using your iPhone’s camera.

To make one, you’ll simply need to press the ‘+’ symbol in the Animoji section of the Messages app, then start creating your likeness by choosing from various options including skin colour, hairstyles and eye colour.

You’ll also be able to add accessories including earrings and sunglasses, before saving your digital face into your Animojis ‘team’.

Whilst some additions have already started popping up for existing iOS 11 users, such as the lion, dragon, skull and bear, the full cast of expressive new characters that come with iOS 12 includes a ghost, koala, tiger and T-Rex.

Tongue detection is another new development slated for the next release of iOS too, so that’s good…?

As a feature, Memojis are expected to be supported by any iPhone that sports a TrueDepth camera array, which means the existing iPhone X as well as the rumoured iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, which are expected to be launching alongside iOS 12 on September 12.

Are you an Animoji fan or has Apple gone one gimmick too far? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

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