Earlier this year, Apple spun off the viral late-night show skit “Carpool Karaoke” to a full-blown TV show exclusive on Apple Music. The show received mixed reviews critically and never took off commercially.
But it turns out, Apple was sitting on a gold mine of a karaoke show all this time.
Over the weekend, new iPhone X users uploaded to social media karaoke songs of themselves using the new Animoji feature. Animojis are custom animated characters that use the user’s voice and mirrors their facial expressions in the Messages app.
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Tweets of floating, virtual animal heads on a white background singing Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” or AC/DC’s “T.N.T” quickly went viral, garnering thousands of retweets and likes over the weekend.
And then we proceeded to waste half our day. #animojikaraoke #iphonex #queen #bohemianrapsody #carriedaway pic.twitter.com/4TBBg6qQKS
— Mia Harrison (@ManxomeMia) November 4, 2017
Technology has peaked. #AnimojiKaraoke @stroughtonsmith pic.twitter.com/phOeO7jFTH
— Noah Halford (@noahhalford) November 4, 2017
I made a thing. 🤘🏻 #AnimojiKaraoke #ACDC #iPhoneX #moneywellspent pic.twitter.com/tGHxVZhkSi
— Duncan Birnie (@duncanbirnie) November 5, 2017
More Animoji Karaoke for you. pic.twitter.com/pxvxfCUTi2
— Harry McCracken 🇺🇸 (@harrymccracken) November 2, 2017
There are boatloads of fun content on Twitter under the hashtag #AnimojiKaraoke. And of course, there were spinoffs into #AnimojiTheater, where Animojis reenact famous movie scenes.
Officially jumping this shark: #AnimojiTheater #StarWars (apologies to @harrymccracken) pic.twitter.com/HMMCrzYU2V
— Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie) November 6, 2017
My first #Animoji masterpiece pic.twitter.com/GnCe3WcThG
— Sean Rogers (@Bauerrules) November 5, 2017
Many observers lauded Animoji as an underrated breakthrough in the new iPhone X, with some comparing the feature to Snapchat filters and began musing about its potential.
Animoji feels like a Pixar x Apple collab that would have made Steve smile. https://t.co/SuLnSITQzf
— Alex Rainert 🤦🏻♂️ (@arainert) November 4, 2017
No idea whether it’s intentional, but Apple appears to have stumbled onto a hit product with animoji karaoke…let’s see if it sticks.
— Stephen Nellis (@StephenNellis) November 5, 2017
If I were Apple, I’d treat Animoji just like Watch bands and Snapchat filters: seasonal/short lived ones for fun/freshness.
— Casey Liss (@caseyliss) November 5, 2017
For those who want a slice of Animojis right now, you will have to get an iPhone X, full stop. Animoji’s ability to mimic the user’s facial expressions are from the same suite of new front-facing cameras and sensors that are used for Face ID.
There also may be a slight wrinkle to the future of Animoji. In October, a Japanese company called emonster k.k., which owns the trademark for “Animoji” in the United States, sued Apple for trademark infringement.
Emonster k.k. and its owner, Enrique Bonansea, claims that their Animoji app was available on the iOS App Store. Apple allegedly offered to buy the trademark, and when emonster k.k. and Bonansea turned down the offer, Apple proceeded to use the name anyway.
“Instead of using the creativity on which Apple developed its worldwide reputation, Apple simply plucked the name from a developer on its own App Store,” said the original complaint.
Photo: Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi demonstrates the Animoji feature on the iPhone X at its launch event in Apple Park on Sept. 12, 2017. (Courtesy Apple)
Tags: Animoji, Apple, Face ID, iPhone X