Mirror Emoji Keyboard turns selfies into characters that look like you

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Stock emojis are fun, but they lack any originality to make them feel personal. One startup, Mirror AI, is looking to change that. The company announced on Dec. 13 that iOS and Android users can download the beta version of Mirror Emoji Keyboard, an app that turns selfies into a custom emojis.

Mirror Emoji uses facial recognition technology to build a keyboard of emojis and stickers that look like you. Using artificial intelligence, the app looks for unique characteristics from a photo, then turns those fe into emoji. The beta version of the app cab generate hundreds of custom emojis that represent different expressions, but the developer says those numbers will increase into the tens of thousands in future versions of the app.

The app also works on photos of friends. These friend emojis appear alongside your personal emojis. The company is looking into customized emojis for groups and pets.

“[Mirror Emoji Keyboard] is the culmination of a year’s worth of work from our dedicated and experienced engineering team and is only the beginning,” Serge Faguet, CEO and co-founder of Mirror AI, said in a press release. “As our user base grows, our technology will continue to improve, leading to even greater personalization as well as as automatic detection of clothing, pets and frequent companions in your camera roll.”

The custom emojis are generated in a matter of seconds, Mirror says. The keyboard is available currently within messaging apps, including Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and iMessage.

Mirror AI says that the app is designed to recognize both facial features and expression in a way that gives the platform an edge over other custom emoji apps. Mirror Emoji is the company’s first app since its inception earlier this year, and the startup plans to continue evolving the tech into more complex applications.

“An entire section of our brain is dedicated to human facial perception which is an incredibly hard problem for artificial intelligence approaches to solve and we are just starting to scratch the surface of the possibilities,” Mirror’s CTO and co-founder, Evgeny Kuryshev, said. “We are fortunate to have some of the top engineers in this field, which allows us to relentlessly work to improve this technology. A decade from now, Mirror aims to deploy our technology and usage data for complex tasks from powering virtual reality characters to advertising personalized to viewers’ faces.”

Mirror Emoji Keyboard is available as a free download from the App Store and Google Play.

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