3 Quick Ideas || AR x Avatars

I want to start an exercise where I give 3 brief product ideas at the intersection of two technological trends I’m thinking about. Lately it has been at the intersection of mobile AR and Avatars. This is something I would actively build in, so if you’re an engineer / designer and you like any of these ideas or have been circling around similar ideas… HMU!

Dating App

I’ve spoken on this idea in different forms, but generally I think that dating apps have a unique way of demonstrating new human computer interactions. What I like about the idea of an AR Avatar dating app is the ability to see what you might look like next to someone else. We base a significant part of our identity from the shared identity with our partner, this gives us a glimpse into a potential romantic future. It brings more questions of compatibility into play, instead of the single dimension of immediate attraction. I actually think there are a lot of dynamics that you can toy with on a product like this so I’ll give one version of how this product could work.

How it would work:

  • Opens to camera of your avatar floating in front of you on one side.
  • For each new potential match, an avatar floats into view. Interacts with your avatar (dance, kiss on the cheek, etc.) And then plays a recorded message.
  • You can then elect to like, reject, or message. (similar to Hinge)

I have about 5 more versions of AR x Avatar dating apps. I think I’ll turn it into its own post.

Floating Head Chat-roulette

The first upside of floating head avatar chat-roulette is that we eliminate the creepy old guy doing unseemly acts from our late night childhood nightmares on Omegle. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you clearly didn’t grow-up on the internet. Discovery is a one of the glorious things about the internet. The ability to meet someone new, and potentially spark a friendship on the other side of the world. Shout out to the original Monkey team!

Crude design of how simple it could be. This doesn’t have the AR component because, that would have taken real time to do. And I didn’t want to fall into a hole.

How it would work:

  • Could probably use that face-mesh within ARKit from Apple. To have a live avatar-ized version of your face. (I’ve only read about it, never used it before)
  • Similar to Omegle you would be able to decide when you don’t want to chat with the other person.
  • To give it one more layer, you can share some predetermined info with your match.

Friend Hangouts

Last idea that I constantly return to in different ways revolves around how to create digital hangouts. I think the intersection of AR and avatars gives it a very skeuomorphic feel to real life. And that’s what is particularly interesting about an updated hangouts like this.

How it would work:

  • App opens to camera and your avatar in the room.
  • Push to invite multiple friends to hangout.
  • Each avatar would appear in the space. This could get really funky when you wanted to push your avatar around and have that react the same way for everyone.
  • From there it’s simply conversation like on a video chat.

Building Fun Stuff & Writing More

That’s all I got right now. If you’re looking to build fun stuff or write about product, culture, identity, stoicism, etc. etc. etc. definitely let me know. I have some free time on my hands as I look for my next thing.