Apple's iPhone X now has the power to turn anyone into a Japanese anime character, thanks to a new app that harnesses the device's TrueDepth camera.
Created by Tokyo-based ViRD Inc., the Puppemoji app allows you to transcend the confines of Apple's Animoji characters and record videos of yourself wearing virtual masks. Although the app highlights several anime character options, you can also don the visage of a sloth, a video game character, or simply place a black bar over your eyes if all you're looking for is a bit of anonymity without the added dose of character whimsy offered by the other options.
You can also wrap your face with any photo from your iOS Photos library, but the results, in that case, aren't as effective. Once you've selected your preferred mask, you can also change the background, effectively obscuring both your face and location. And if that's not enough anonymity, there's even an option that allows you to change the pitch of your voice while recording your video message.
When you're using one of the anime characters, another option allows you to cover your torso with the anime character's clothing. But it doesn't end there — you can also manipulate the anime character's hands (hence the name of the app: puppet + moji = Puppemoji). That virtual puppetry function isn't incredibly smooth, but with some practice, it might deliver some interesting results.
It should also be noted that the face tracking on the stock character masks is generally solid, but not as absolutely precise as Apple's own Animoji characters.
The app is free and available now, and while it's not a direct person-to-person messaging app, if you've been hoping to send some Animoji-style video messages that break the Apple mold, this may be the app you've been waiting for.