One of the novel features that Apple showcased with the iPhone X that leveraged the TrueDepth camera system was Animoji. These are basically avatars whose eyes, mouth, and tongue can move in accordance to the face that the user is making. For the most part it is rather seamless, but one thing it lacks is sound effects.


However according to a patent discovered by AppleInsider, it appears that Apple could be working on making Animojis more immersive by allowing them to make sound effects based on your facial expressions. Right now how Animojis work is pretty straightforward: the camera tracks the user’s face and expressions and tries to replicate it with the digital avatar, and the user’s voice is then captured to record their message.

The only downside to this design is that sometimes the tone of our voice doesn’t necessarily match the avatar which can have a bit of a jarring effect, and that’s where the patent comes in. For example when selecting the dog avatar, users can say “bark” and it would then create barking sound effects. They could also make growling noises or frown angrily, in which the cute dog avatar’s face might then change to something more menacing.

For the most part Animojis are a novelty and a good way of demonstrating the TrueDepth camera system, but if the feature were to be improved upon, we wouldn’t be surprised if more users were to start using it.

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