Although Intel might not seem like a company that is focused on fun and entertaining apps, they recently released an iOS app that could change this perception. Pocket Avatar detects a user’s facial expressions and maps them onto a personalized avatar.
Getting started with Pocket Avatar requires that you create an account, but once you have, the process of making your video avatar is fairly easy. You can choose from a wide variety of characters, including over twenty that are free. The paid characters are generally $.99 and include pop culture icons such as a Care Bear and Lego Movie characters. Once you have selected and downloaded your chosen avatar, you can start recording. Pocket Avatar can record from either camera on your iPhone, making it simple to create an avatar for yourself or for a friend. Before you start recording, you will have to line up the face to be recorded in a field on your screen. You can then record up to 15 seconds of both video and audio. Rather than recording your actual face and voice, Pocket Avatar maps the expressions you make onto your selected avatar and masks your voice by making it deeper. Once you have finished recording, you can opt to either eliminate the sound completely or swap to a high-pitched version of your voice. At this point, you can also change the avatar to any other character in the app.
Finished avatars can be named and then shared via text message, email or Twitter. The results are a fun mix of the user’s own facial expressions and a cartoon character. I found that the facial recognition worked fairly well and I expect that it will improve over time. This app will appeal to Twitter users and those who frequently send text messages. If you fall into one of these categories, you should check it out!