Paris Hilton’s love affair with crypto is taking avatars in a new direction: WWD has learned that the socialite, media personality and investor is backing a real-time animation app capable of mirroring NFTs’ movement to their owners.
Akin to digital puppeteering, the experience of the Immi mobile app may feel familiar to users of Apple’s 3D memojis. Like the iPhone’s custom characters, the iPhone’s Face ID technology also powers Immi avatars, but for both facial and full body tracking. That means the characters in the app can do more than just smile or wink — they can wave, dance and more. Thanks to augmented reality, users can also place them in the real world to share on social media, as well as the metaverse.
The app comes with a built-in selection of avatars to play with, but the start-up can also wave its technical wand for select NFT owners of Bored Ape Yacht Club and My Pet Hooligan projects, to start, on a case-by-case basis.
Hilton herself showed off the capabilities on her own Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT in a tweet posted Sunday, with other celebrities expected to follow suit.
— ParisHilton.eth (@ParisHilton) May 1, 2022
“I love how Immi puts the power of creativity in the hands of creators and brings such unique utility to NFTs,” said Hilton, whose 11:11 Media is a key investor in the app.
Others include billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Zoom founder Eric Yuan, rapper Pitbull, crypto investor Gmoney and motivational speaker, author and life and business strategist Tony Robbins. The latter should be no surprise considering his son, Josh Jenkins-Robbins, is Immi’s cofounder and chief executive officer.
Jenkins-Robbins describes the movement and visuals as “studio-quality” animation, likening it to Pixar-level standards. Although the mobile app is already in the App Store, the upcoming announcement will mark its official launch.
Nine character genres will be available at launch, with two free avatars per genre — including one that takes after the Bored Ape #1398 NFT, plus a superhero, an anime rebel and a popular “Karen” character. The developers plan to offer thousands more, including originals and characters from games and movies, in addition to animated versions of other popular NFTs.
Later this summer, the company plans to introduce unique animated NFTs, to bring “a level of utility that has been missing in the space.”
Expect more creative new use cases to emerge as developers of all stripes experiment with digital avatars — especially NFTs — in a veritable race to give buyers more reason to covet them and more things to do with them, other than merely own them.