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Microsoft Puppets: SwiftKey gets Animoji-like virtual characters

Microsoft Puppets in action (Source: SwiftKeyApp on YouTube)
Microsoft Puppets in action (Source: SwiftKeyApp on YouTube)
SwiftKey users will soon be able to create their own virtual character that matches their head movements and facial expressions. This AR emoji feature is similar to Apple's Animoji and currently comes with five characters: Dinosaur, Panda, Cat, Owl, and Dog. For now, it is only available in SwiftKey Beta.

Many users might be happy with the default virtual keyboard that comes with Google Android, but most of them probably never tried SwiftKey. Now, there is one more reason to take this free piece of code for a spin: an AR emoji feature simply called "Puppets" that has just been added to the latest Beta release of this app.

Android users who want to try this feature can choose between turning into a dinosaur, a panda, a cat, an owl, or a dog. Once recorded, the video can be used virtually anywhere and is not limited to a specific messaging app or platform.

The catch with SwiftKey's Puppets is that instead of using the depth sensor that lacks in many mid-range and low-end devices, this piece of code takes advantage of the front-facing RGB camera that virtually all Android handsets have. This way, Microsoft managed to increase the number of devices that would support this feature by a significant degree.

SwiftKey Beta users on Android Nougat and later can take Puppets for a spin, but "more recent and powerful smartphones" can provide the best experience, reveals Microsoft. Are you one of those who uses animated emojis on a regular basis or one of those who consider them useless? Have you ever tried SwiftKey? Using another virtual keyboard, maybe? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 07 > Microsoft Puppets: SwiftKey gets Animoji-like virtual characters
Codrut Nistor, 2019-07- 8 (Update: 2019-07- 8)
Codrut Nistor
Codrut Nistor - News Editor
Although I have been writing about new software and hardware for almost a decade, I consider myself to be old school. I always enjoy listening to music on CD or tape instead of digital files and I will not even get into the touchscreen vs physical keys debate. However, I also enjoy new technology, as I now have the chance to take a look at the future every day. I joined the Notebookcheck crew back in 2013 and I have no plans to leave the ship anytime soon.