WWDC 2018: Apple Introduces Memoji, Tongue Tracking, and Other Wastes of AR Tech

The power of iOS 12 will soon allow users to make their own custom Memojis and stick their tongues out at disinterested recipients.

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Apple has taken to the stage at this year's WWDC 2018 presentation to show off the power and utility of iOS 12, including extended Photos search and sharing capabilities as well as promising new abilities related to the ARKit 2. However, many iOS users will probably be much more interested in the time-wasting capabilities of Animoji, the cutesy animated emoticon function that can watch the user's face and send short animations to friends. Now, Apple has proudly unveiled Memoji, an extension of the Animoji platform that allows users to stare at their phones and stick out their tongues in a fully customizable message of pure banality.

No one is here to argue that Animoji aren't entertaining — if they weren't, surely they wouldn't be as popular as they are today. And iOS 12 users will certainly be happy to hear that they can now enjoy that same functionality with a customized cartoon-esque version of their own face, the likes of which can be decked out with special hairstyles, skin and eye color, accessories like earrings, and more.

Robust customization aside, we have to wonder why Apple seems so focused on providing iPhone users with such potent distractions. The company has literally come up with technology for tracking user's tongues, seemingly with the explicit aim of allowing people to stick their tongues out at one another. Sure, such gestures are considered rude in many cultures across the world, but who cares? This is America, and being able to flail a digital representation of one's oral appendage at friends is a perfect use of a thousand-dollar handset, right?

It's really hard to imagine why so much time was spent developing such a silly feature. Sure, adding in the likes of a ghost, koala, t-rex, and tiger to the Animoji lineup was a fine idea, but apparently that just wasn't exciting enough. Instead, users can now use their iPhones to create a digital representation of their own face, then apply the cartoon version of their likeness over their own head as a special effect to be sent in messages.

Users may be asking themselves, "why though?" Sadly, we don't have an answer. However, if these new Memojis are any indication of the future of mobile communication, what people say doesn't matter near as much as the cartoony medium through which they say it.

Guides Editor

Kevin Tucker is a core component of Shacknews' powerful guide development team. For questions, concerns, tips, or to share constructive criticism, he can be reached on Twitter @dukeofgnar or through e-mail at kevin.tucker@shacknews.com.

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