Two characters from the popular sci-fi animated comedy Rick and Morty have already made their way into augmented reality courtesy of ARKit experiments. Now, it's possible to become one of them on the iPhone X.
Developer Michael Bramiage has created an Animoji-style version of Rick Sanchez. While he has to supply his own burps and recitations of Morty's name, the avatar mimics his every facial expression, just like the foxes, unicorns, and poops on the iPhone's Messages app.
According to developer Simon Støvring, Animojis are the product of a private framework called AvatarKit for Messages. This approach relies on private APIs, so don't expect to see these unsanctioned works in the App Store anytime soon, though Støvring's app, SBSAnimoji, which lets users record Animojis outside of Messages, is available on GitHub for sideloading. We've reached out Bramiage to confirm that he is using the same approach for this "Rickmoji."
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Animojis are still a mostly untapped market for Apple, but they're becoming the killer app for the iPhone X and its TrueDepth sensor. Nevertheless, for now, the face-mimicking avatars are officially limited to Apple's Messages and a dozen characters. But creators and developers are demonstrating their willingness to use the platform.
Maybe it's time to free the Animojis, Apple.