iVirtual Technologies, a Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Extended Reality (XR) company focused on making virtual human creation accessible to all, announced the launch of its social avatar mobile app heymoji. With just two pictures, heymoji allows anyone with a smartphone or tablet to create a photorealistic, animated avatar of themselves for use in place of emojis and cartoon avatars in everyday texting and across social media applications and platforms.
With heymoji, available now for iOS on the App Store and coming shortly for Android, users follow three easy steps to create 3D avatars based on their own true likeness, taking fun and entertaining social communication to the next level. Users simply download the app for free and have two pictures taken of themselves (front and back) to create their own animated 3D avatar.
“Before this, the creation of true-to-life 3D avatars was accomplished with large rigs or camera booths — obviously highly prohibitive from a time and cost perspective,” said Sherif Khair, co-founder and CEO of iVirtual Technologies Inc. “heymoji democratizes this technology, bringing it right to the palm of your hand and, in a few simple steps, anyone can create their own photorealistic avatar. We are proud to be the first to accomplish this.”
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“Having worked on computer vision technology for over 20 years, I can speak to the fact that the complexities of bringing instant virtualization to the masses and on a mobile device are significant, which explains why it has never been done before,” said Fernando Flores-Mangas, iVirtual’s chief scientist and CTO. “With heymoji, we’ve cracked the code in making digital human creation readily accessible — remarkably using only two photos — and while our technology is still in its infancy, we’re really excited about its potential.”
Using state-of-the-art technology, heymoji eliminates the need for expensive, specialized and difficult-to-operate scanning equipment and removes the highly skilled and labor-intensive human intervention required towards creating virtual humans. Instead, the app combines proprietary computer vision and machine learning technologies to create a fully automated 3D-rendering engine capable of instant virtualization.
Today heymoji launches with 15 tiles, which are animated, themed scenes inspired by pop culture, with more to be added in the near-term and then at very regular subsequent intervals. iVirtual is also developing a mobile phone tile maker, adding another dimension of entertainment, flexibility and customization to the app by enabling users to create and share their own custom tiles.
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The heymoji rollout is the first step in iVirtual’s mission to be first-to-market with widely accessible AR/VR/XR technology that empowers consumers to instantly create and also control a recognizable, socially relevant and fully secure version of themselves for use across social media, gaming, retail/e-commerce, health and wellness and more. The implications for such technology are huge, with analysts predicting the extended reality market to generate over $100 billion in sales by 2025.
“The 3D avatar science behind heymoji is a natural fit with iVirtual’s core technology, enabling us to immediately start building revenues, brand awareness and a following before rolling out our industry-leading virtualization technology across other platforms,” said Meghan Nameth, co-founder of iVirtual. “While our vision of democratizing virtual human creation might seem futuristic, the reality is that this technology has been in development for years but, until now, the cost and time have made it inaccessible. iVirtual is changing this landscape. Boundless opportunities open up with access to true-to-life digital versions of ourselves, and we are proud to be a leader in this space as the virtual realm evolves and applications across gaming, e-commerce, education, security and more emerge.”
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