Intel Tries its Hand at Mobile Messaging with Pocket Avatars

by Jacob Kleinman | June 19, 2014

There are a million messaging apps out there to choose from, but today you can add one more option to the list from an unlikely source. Intel, the company best know for making the processors that power our computers and tablets, released a fun new messaging app today called Pocket Avatars after beta testing the service last year.

Pocket Avatars lets you send quick video messages, but the catch is that the video won’t show your actual face. Instead the app records your movements and voice using the phone’s front-facing camera and layers them on top of an animated character. The default option appears to be a cartoony puffer fish, though the app offers tons of other avatars ranging from Barack Obama to Gumby. Some are free, while others cost 99 cents each.

The app comes from Intel Labs, which often develops bizarre new products that never actually see the light of the day, and Intel VP Mike Bell tells The Next Web that Pocket Avatars was simply too good to throw away. It’s definitely fun to use, and if you feel uncomfortable showing your actual face in video chats this should help put you at ease. We’d love to see Pocket Avatars catch on, though considering it’s well-established competition we’re not so sure this fun little app stands a chance.

Pocket Avatars TNW


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...