Apple iPhone X strikes viral gold with 'Animoji Karaoke'

November 9, 2017 by Seung Lee, The Mercury News

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 all this time.

Recently, 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 in the Messages app.

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.

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.

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.

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, claim 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.

Explore further: Apple engineer fired after daughter posts video of iPhone X

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