If you spend enough time scrolling through manicured photos of manicured lives on social media, you might come to the realization that maybe the fakeness of the online world has started to look too real.
This might be why so many investors are starting to stare headlong into the world of avatars and digital influencers that aren’t real people but can learn from their audiences in real time. Earlier this week, I chatted with a pair of interesting founders from the startup Artie. The team is basically trying to create an interaction engine for digital avatars to sit in the real world and have some sort of meaningful interaction with users through phone-based AR.
The startup’s backers include Founders Fund and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley. Co-founders Armando Kirwin and Ryan Horrigan both come from some top startups in the VR media space.
Artie’s sort of autonomous storytelling platform really focuses in on a couple of emerging trends.
One is this big idea of digital influencers revving up in Japan and Korea that’s basically leveraging all of these new face-tracking capabilities of smartphones to allow users to craft 3D avatars that are sort of animated, abstracted online personalities. It’s started to make waves stateside, but it’s a slower grind. Artie isn’t necessarily looking at user-generated content at this moment, but the company’s work in more branded moments with already leveraged IP is an interesting first step toward something bigger.