An app that allows users to create and share videos that blend elements of the physical and virtual worlds launched on Tuesday, with funding from James Murdoch and backers from the entertainment industry.
Octi, which was updated from an earlier version, seeks to capitalize on growing consumer interest in augmented reality, a technology that overlay computer images on the real world. The iPhone app contains a library of virtual props and scenes that users can incorporate into their videos. The company rewards creators with digital currency.
The app debuts months after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg popularized the concept of “metaverse”. It has attracted investment from Murdoch’s Lupa Systems, LiveNation Entertainment and longtime music director Jimmy Iovine.
This version of Octi represents a change from the social networking app introduced by the company in January 2020, which sparked controversy over its use of facial recognition which identified a person’s favorite YouTube videos or Spotify favorites after app users point their phone cameras at them.
Facial recognition has disappeared from the new version of Octi, which is now built around interacting with 3D virtual objects – “an afterthought” in the original that has proven popular with users, said Octi COO Brian Biggott in an interview.
Octi’s collection of digital assets allows users to don costumes – perhaps a pair of goofy sunglasses or a traffic cone hat – and create video in virtual environments, like a digital re-enactment. of the Great Hall of the Harry Potter films.
Users can scan their surroundings and interact with digital characters, such as the 3D version of the Funko POP version of Jack Sparrow from Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean or Nintendo Pokemon characters such as the Turtle-like Squirtle, in the real world.
Octi uses virtual currency to encourage its users to create videos, awarding Octi Coins to participate in themed challenges, create videos that other users like – or to import their own real world items that other users have. integrate into their videos. These coins can be exchanged to purchase real or virtual goods in the app store, the Octi store.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
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