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VidCon 2016: AOL launches face-tracking app, Switch

By Haley Velasco | Freelance journalist

June 25, 2016 | 3 min read

AOL kicked off VidCon 2016 by debuting Switch, its new face-tracking app, which was created by Kanvas and Nito Inc. Both companies were recently acquired by AOL.

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Through this app, users are able to switch their faces with a variety of content, including 2D & 3D avatars that range from President Obama to emojis, animal filters such as a tiger or a black swan, makeup filters, mask overlays and much more.

While in the app, the user can take a photo, create a video or utilize the burst function, a unique Switch feature, which allows six photos to be played forward and then be looped backward. In true digital fashion, users will be able to natively share the content with their networks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Messenger, SMS and more.

In 2015, AOL acquired startup Kanvas Labs, which creates mobile social apps focused around human creativity. The startup has 3 connected applications — Kanvas flagship, which is a social network for mixed­ media self expression, Kanvas Keyboard, which is the world's most creative keyboard and Kanvas Lab, which is a mixed media creation tool.

Through their partnership, AOL and Kanvas created Kanvas 5.0, which is a live streaming application that allows real-time viewing and editing with creative features such as filters, GIFs, themes and more, targeted at the youth market. They also created Kanvas 5.1, which the clothing brand GUESS chose to use to live-stream its #GuessAllAccess campaign at an event the brand hosted in Miami with Flaunt Magazine in 2015.

Recently acquired by AOL in April, Nito Inc. has integrated with AOL’s Kanvas to partner on this Switch project. By using iOS "Metal" technology, they have been able to integrate Nito’s facial tracking technology with 2D and 3D content into Kanvas’ apps.

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